The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned two Financial Masterplan Pty Ltd advisers from providing any financial services for five years.
The advisers, Trent Allan and Fabrizio Urrutia, were authorised representatives of Australian financial services licensee Financial Masterplan Pty Ltd from June 24, 2016 to May 25, 2021. They were also involved in the activities of Vision Wealth Group Pty Ltd (Vision Wealth), a corporate authorised representative of Financial Masterplan.
Vision Wealth established a website called Australian Super Search, used to attract clients by helping them find their lost super through the Australian Tax Office’s (ATO) free service.
ASIC alleged that the advisers had not complied with financial services laws and are not adequately trained or competent to provide financial services.
According to ASIC, Allan and Urrutia allegedly used the searched results from the Australian Super Search to provide clients with superannuation consolidation and insurance advice, with several clients signed up to an ongoing service arrangement.
Allan and Urrutia also allegedly provided advice without a thorough investigation of their clients’ needs and objectives. In many cases, they did not make adequate enquiries about their clients’ existing superannuation and insurance products. Their advice also failed to provide appropriate reasoning for recommending the replacement of existing products.
As a result, ASIC decided that both advisers failed to act in the best interests of their clients and prioritised their interests over their clients’ interests. It also found that advice documents, comparing the existing and recommended products, were materially misleading.
The ban has been recorded on the Financial Advisers Register and the Banned and Disqualified Persons Register. ASIC’s Moneysmart website has useful information for consumers whose advisers have been banned.