ASIC slaps former NAB planner with permanent ban

The regulator has permanently banned a former NAB planner from South Australia for failing to provide SoAs and for charging his clients "excessive" fees.

Hardik Bhimani was employed in NSW as a senior financial planning manager, and later as a senior financial planner, with National Australia Bank between 1 April 2011 and 4 November 2013.

He worked in the NAB Financial Planning business.

An ASIC investigation found that between December 2012 and 7 August 2013, Mr Bhimani engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by creating and supplying NAB with "non-standard fee forms" indicating the applicable fees payable by the clients had been waived, and then made arrangements for the clients to deposit the advice fees into his personal NAB bank account.

He also charged clients excessive fees; failed to provide a client with statements of advice; and engaged in repeated breaches of the standards expected of a person in his position.

ASIC also found reason to believe that Mr Bhimani was not of "good fame and character".

NAB alerted ASIC to Mr Bhimani's conduct and fully refunded the advice fees to the affected clients.

ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said ASIC would not tolerate this type of behaviour.

"ASIC will continue to protect consumers by removing those who engage in misleading and deceptive conduct from the industry," he said.

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

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