ASIC has permanently banned a former Brisbane financial adviser after it was found he had “deliberately misled” clients and failed to provide appropriate advice.
According to statement, George Karakatsanis of Yeronga, Queensland, had been an authorised representative of various AFSLs since 2003. Between 16 July 2012 and 22 May 2014, he was licensed by Protect Ensure.
ASIC said it decided to permanently ban Mr Karakatsanis from providing financial services after finding he had engaged in conduct that was misleading and deceptive.
This includes making false statements about the features of financial products that were likely to induce clients to acquire the products. Further, Mr Karakatsanis had “deliberately” misled clients so that they did not understand the basic features of the financial products he was recommending.
He also failed to properly disclose that investor funds were being invested in Protect Ensure, thus constituting a direct conflict of interest, and failed to act in his clients’ best interests by ignoring circumstances, objectives, financial situations and needs, the statement said.
As a result, some clients lost their invested funds entirely, ASIC said.
ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said, “Mr Karakatsanis's conduct falls far short of the high standards expected of those in the financial services industry.
“ASIC will continue to protect consumers from advisers who engage in misleading conduct and place their interests above those of their client.”
Mr Karakatsanis has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.
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