ASIC issues permanent ban to former Reliance Group director

ASIC issues permanent ban to former Reliance Group director | Insurance Business

ASIC issues permanent ban to former Reliance Group director

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has permanently banned Kimberley Hanson from providing financial services and performing any function related to leading financial services businesses.

Hanson was the director of Reliance Franchise Partners Pty Ltd (RFP) from June 27, 2011 to August 11, 2015. He was also the director and company secretary of Australian Reliance Pty Ltd (Australian Reliance) from January 10, 2003 to January 08, 2016. RFP is a national network of local insurance advisers, while Australian Reliance provides insurance and risk advisory services. Both companies are part of the Reliance Group.

According to ASIC, RFP and Australian Reliance each held an Australian financial services (AFS) licence. At all material times, Hanson was responsible for each of the AFS licences. He was also the chief financial officer of both companies from 2012 to January 2016.

ASIC deemed the permanent ban necessary due to concerns that Hanson is not a fit and proper person to provide financial services or control a financial services business, and that he would be likely to contravene financial services law if he continued doing so.

The regulator also noted concerns that Hanson allowed or caused withdrawals from client money trust accounts maintained by both companies and allowed or caused the misuse of these funds to meet the companies’ operating expenses.

As of October 23, 2014, Hanson allowed or caused funds totalling around $3 million to be used for purposes not permitted by the Corporations Act and the Corporations Regulations, which govern the use of monies held in trust accounts by AFS licensees. ASIC stated that Hanson understood that misusing funds held in trust by both companies was a contravention of their obligations as AFS license holders.

ASIC recorded Hanson’s banning on its publicly available Banned and Disqualified Persons Register. However, the former director has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of the regulator’s decision.

Meanwhile, ASIC will continue its investigation into conduct by the officers of RFP and Australian Reliance.