ASIC permanently bans former Westpac-aligned adviser

ASIC has permanently banned a former Magnitude Group-aligned adviser after she was found to have created false documents and transferred client funds without authorisation.

Between October 2009 and August 2014, Amanda Ritchie created false bank statements, emails and letters in order to deceive clients, ASIC said in statement.

She was also found to be engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct in order to perpetuate the false documents on client accounts. Third, Ms Ritchie was found to have transferred funds from clients' accounts without authorisation.

Westpac reported its concerns regarding Ms Ritchie's conduct to ASIC in August 2014 at which point her employment was terminated.

Prior to working under Magnitude Group, Ms Ritchie was an authorised rep with M&S Services from 19 December 2003 to 18 February 2013.

Ms Ritchie has the right of appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.

She is the eighth person to be banned from the financial services industry as part of ASIC's Wealth Management Project, which commenced in late 2014.

Other advisers banned by ASIC include: Martin HodgettsShawn HickmanBrett O'MalleyBrian Farber and Rebecca Locksley.

ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said: "The investing public needs to be able to trust those who provide financial services. ASIC will act to ensure advisers who flout the law and who disregard their legal obligations are removed from the financial services industry."

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