ASIC cracks whip on three financial advisers

ASIC cracks whip on three financial advisers | Insurance Business

ASIC cracks whip on three financial advisers

Three financial advisers have been banned by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) for failing to provide advice in the best interests of clients, among other things. Here Insurance Business gives you the lowdown on the separate penalties.

Christopher Norman Harris

Harris, who was an authorised representative of Millennium3 Financial Services Pty Ltd from October 2008 to May 2017 and of Dover Financial Advisers Pty Ltd from May 2017 to June 2018, has been slapped with a 10-year ban. 

It was found that some of Harris’s advice was not in the best interests of his clients; he failed to provide statements of advice to some clients; and he also did not provide the appropriate fee disclosure statements in a timely manner.

In addition, according to ASIC, the Adelaide-based executive had engaged in conduct that was likely to mislead or deceive in relation to Money Works Financial Planning Pty Ltd, which in June 2018 was appointed by Futuro Financial Services Pty Ltd as its corporate authorised representative.

At the time of the appointment, Harris was not authorised to provide financial services but statements made on the Money Works website, as well as client correspondence, gave the false impression that he had authorisation in his capacity as the sole director of Money Works.

Bimaljeet Sekhon

Southeast Melbourne-based Sekhon has been banned from providing financial services for three years after failing to comply with financial services laws and for not being adequately trained or competent. She was an authorised representative of Count Financial Limited from June 2013 to July 2017 and of Politis Investment Strategies Pty Ltd between November 2017 and March 2019.

ASIC’s assessment showed that Sekhon failed to make reasonable inquiries into, and base all judgements on, her client’s relevant circumstances and to appropriately scope the advice. It was found that she failed to consider some clients’ existing insurance arrangements and the potential impact of the recommended products’ premiums on their retirement savings.

Alan Davies

Based in Sydney, Davies was the sole director and an authorised representative of Risk Insurance Consultants Pty Ltd between December 2013 and March 2020. Like Sekhon, he was found to have been lacking in training or competence to provide financial services, and he has been banned for three years after also failing to comply with relevant laws.

ASIC said Davies did not consider whether switching was in his clients’ best interests and whether they could have achieved their objectives within their existing life insurance coverage, when recommending that they switch products.

All three bans are part of the regulator’s ongoing efforts to improve standards across the financial services industry.