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12-04MR Sydney liquidator prevented from practising
ASIC has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from Sydney liquidator, Mr Peter Ngan, which prevents him from practising as a registered liquidator for the next two-and-a-half years.
Following an ASIC review of 24 external administrations which Mr Ngan managed as sole appointee at his firm, Ngan & Co, ASIC found Mr Ngan, who is also an official liquidator, failed to carry out or properly perform his duties.
ASIC Deputy Chairman Belinda Gibson said the matter was detected through ASIC’s proactive liquidator compliance program which has been tasked to identify issues with practitioners in the industry for further investigation and appropriate enforcement action as required.
‘ASIC is committed to holding all gatekeepers, including registered liquidators, to account for their responsibility to creditors and to the court. Registered liquidators must ensure they have the capacity to discharge their duties’, Ms Gibson said.
‘Our proactive program of compliance visits for insolvency practitioners continues and we will take appropriate steps to deal with liquidators who don’t meet their obligations.’
The EU requires Mr Ngan to:
- apply to the Supreme Court of New South Wales within seven days of ASIC accepting the EU, to be replaced as external administrator of all 35 external administrations of which he is currently the appointed external administrator
- for two-and-a-half years (period of suspension) not perform any duty or function which requires the person performing such duty or function to be registered as a liquidator
- not perform any work on the external administrations where the court replaces him as the appointed external administrator
- participate in an additional 75 hours Continuing Professional Development during the period of suspension, and
- have an independent registered liquidator (approved by ASIC) review and report to ASIC on the first four creditors’ voluntary liquidations and the first two voluntary administrations that involve the assessment of the merits and the administration of the operative terms of a deed of company arrangement, following the end of the period of suspension.
Mr Ngan acknowledged and accepted ASIC’s concerns that he:
- failed to identify, secure and deal appropriately with assets
- carried out incomplete or inadequate investigations
- did not adequately report to creditors
- did not adequately report to ASIC or not report at all
- adopted inappropriate remuneration practices and time recording procedures
- failed to disclose prior relationships and indemnities
- had inadequately maintained books, and
- unnecessarily delayed finalising external administrations.
Mr Ngan also acknowledged and accepted ASIC’s concerns that he failed to disclose prior relationships and indemnities.
In acknowledging and accepting ASIC’s concerns, Mr Ngan admitted that he failed to carry out or perform adequately and properly the duties of a liquidator.