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Macquarie staffer banned for improperly giving advice

A former Macquarie Equities employee has been banned from providing financial services for three years after improperly giving legal advice and acting outside the scope of his Macquarie Representative Authority.

Ben Rickman from Victoria who was employed by Macquarie Equities between July 2012 and June 2014 gave advice to his clients which involved the drafting of legal documents, such as wills, and the giving of legal advice about those documents. Mr Rickman also represented that he was "solicitor/conveyancer" in a property purchase transaction.

Mr Rickman has no legal qualifications and is not licensed as a conveyancer.

ASIC found that the poor results of file reviews conducted by Macquarie and the fact that Mr Rickman acted outside the scope of his Macquarie Representative Authority and employment agreement demonstrated that he does not have the ability, professional skills or judgment to competently provide financial services.

Further, ASIC found that Mr Rickman demonstrated a lack of understanding regarding the role of a financial adviser.

Mr Rickman has appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.

The outcome is a result of ASIC's Wealth Management Project. The project was established in October 2014 with the objective of lifting the standards of major financial advice providers. The Wealth Management Project focuses on the conduct of the largest financial advice firms (NAB, Westpac, CBA, ANZ, Macquarie and AMP).