Former Westpac adviser permanently banned, charges laid

Former Westpac adviser permanently banned, charges laid

A former Westpac senior financial planner has been permanently banned by ASIC and has had charges laid against him by Victorian police after submitting false insurance policy proposals to collect commissions.

The regulator found that Martin Hodgetts, whose job included sourcing and submitting personal insurance business for Westpac in Victoria, submitted nine false policies between May and September in 2014.

The false policies contained invented details, including imaginary conversations and false signatures, and none were either requested or approved by any existing or new Westpac customer.

Mr Hodgetts' also used the bank's internal software system to dishonestly alter certain details of two of the false policies after they were submitted in order to avoid detection.

Victoria Police have laid charges in relation to Mr Hodgetts' conduct.

ASIC's action to permanently ban Mr Hodgetts from the financial services industry is part of ASIC's Wealth Management Project which is targeting compliance in the four major banks, Macquarie and AMP, the regulator said in a statement.

ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said, "Mr Hodgetts' misleading and deceptive conduct was driven purely by the commissions he collected which are completely contrary to the integrity required of a person in his position."

In a statement, ASIC said the conduct of Mr Hodgetts, who worked for the bank between August 2010 and September 2014, was reported to the regulator.

Mr Hodgetts has repaid the commissions he received from the nine false policies.

Since ASIC's Wealth Management Project started in October 2014, in addition to Mr Hodgetts, ASIC has also banned the following advisers from the financial services industry: Shawn Hickman, Brett O'Malley, Brian Farber and Rebecca Locksley.

Former Westpac adviser permanently banned, charges laid
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