ASIC blitz: Financial advisors banned as regulator steps up clean-up efforts


ASIC chair James Shipton.

A late-April blitz has seen a slew of financial advisors charged or banned over the last week as the corporate regulator steps up its efforts to clean up the financial services sector in the wake of the banking royal commission.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) last week banned an Adelaide-based advisor for five years after a review uncovered allegations he “failed to address the stated needs and objectives of his client”.

The conduct was brought to the regulator’s attention by an industry delegate, including claims advice provided did not adequately consider cost impacts on clients relating to switching financial products.

“The banning … is part of ASIC’s ongoing efforts to improve standards across the financial services industry,” ASIC said of the case.

Meanwhile, a Perth-based accountant was also banned from providing financial advice for six years over allegations he sold shares on behalf of clients without their knowledge or consent.

ASIC said it became aware of the alleged behaviour while investigating how firms are artificially obtaining the minimum amount of shareholder support (300 shareholders) to list on the ASX.

The regulator alleged the advisor knowingly provided false information about shares he’d bought to help them meet the minimum listing requirements, engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct.

In a third case circulated on Tuesday morning, ASIC said it had banned its third advisor in a week, this time for six years.

In this case, a Gold Coast-based advisor is alleged to have engaged in discretionary trading without authorisation.

It is alleged the advisor engaged in more than one thousand options trades on behalf of a number of clients between April 2015 and April 2016.

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