ASIC bans Hunter Valley financial advisor

ASIC bans Hunter Valley financial advisor | Insurance Business

ASIC bans Hunter Valley financial advisor

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned financial advisor Sean Philip Lewis, based in the Hunter Valley, from providing financial services for five years.

The ban comes after ASIC found Lewis failed to comply with financial services laws when he failed to provide advice that was in the best interest of his clients and didn’t provide advice that was appropriate for his clients’ objectives.

These events took place while Lewis was an authorised representative of Spectrum Wealth Advisors, according to the regulator.

Lewis advised most of his clients to use a Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangement (LRBA) to fund the purchase of real property through a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF). He also provided insurance advice to all clients.

However, when providing this advice, Lewis did not “professionally and independently” assess whether using an SMSF and borrowed funds to invest in property was an appropriate strategy for each of his clients. ASIC also says Lewis did not adequately investigate or offer any alternative investment strategies that may have provided a greater diversification of risks.

ASIC says it found Lewis to have prioritised his own interests over that of his clients, motivated by generating large commissions for himself regardless of whether his recommended products were appropriate for his clients.

The regulator says the banning of Lewis is part of its ongoing efforts to improve standards across the financial services industry. It will be recorded on ASIC’s publicly available Financial Advisers Register and the Banned and Disqualified Persons Register.

ASIC says Lewis has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of the decision.