Permanent ban for insurance advisor

Permanent ban for insurance advisor

Permanent ban for insurance advisor ASIC has permanently banned a former authorised representative of ACE from the financial services industry as part of an on-going investigation.

Abhinav Gupta was an AR of ACE Insurance between October 2013 and May 2014, ASIC said in a statement, operating through the Combined Insurance division in Victoria selling accident and sickness insurance policies.

It has been found that Gupta “was likely to contravene financial services laws and was not of good fame and character due to a range of dishonest conduct,” the regulator said.

The ASIC investigation revealed that Gupta issued a policy in the name of a client who never agreed to taking out the policy and who did not sign the application, used a client’s bank details on another client’s policy without authorisation and issued “at least 12 fictional policies” using client names and details that did not exist or such as false employment details and non-existent bank accounts.

“Mr Gupta's actions were motivated by his own potential gains. For the protection of the public, ASIC will act to ensure dishonest insurance advisers are removed from the industry,” ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said.

Chris Carey, Head of Combined Insurance, Asia Pacific, said that the company had terminated Gupta following an internal investigation in May 2014 and noted that no customers had been financially affected by his actions.

“ACE has been informed of the permanent banning of Mr. Gupta from the financial services industry," Carey said.

"ACE’s Combined Insurance division terminated Mr. Gupta in May 2014 following an internal investigation. No customers ultimately suffered financial loss as a result of Mr. Gupta’s actions.”

At Combined Insurance, Gupta was not paid a salary but received upfront commission and volume bonuses commissions based on the number of policies he had sold with incentive programs also part of his pay packet.

ASIC continues to investigate Combined Insurance, a subsidiary of ACE Group, following alleged widespread mis-selling of policies as was first reported by Fairfax Media in April.