ASIC appeals AAT's decision to lift NAB adviser ban

The corporate regulator has appealed a decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to reverse a ban order on a former NAB financial planner.

In March 2016, ASIC announced it had banned Gerard McCormack of South Melbourne for five years for engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct.

That ban was reversed in December, after the AAT determined it was not an appropriate decision.

Now, ASIC has hit back, filing a notice of appeal in the Victorian Registry of the Federal Court. The first case management hearing has been listed for 2 February 2017, according to a statement.

According to the AAT’s judgement, while Mr McCormakc had breached the Corporations Act, a banning order should not have been made.

“That is because, in the very unusual circumstances of this case, I find that a banning order would not serve to protect the public,” the AAT said.

“Nor would it serve to deter like conduct because of the very remote possibility of the same or similar circumstances arising in the future. It would have no effect in maintaining investor and consumer confidence in financial markets, which, on the evidence before me, was not in any event affected by Mr McCormack’s conduct.

“No person suffered any financial detriment and therefore no loss or damages claim could arise. Mr McCormack accepted that his conduct in attempting to recover his client’s money for him was wrongful and an aberration on his part. The only purpose a banning order could serve in these circumstances is to penalise Mr McCormack. That, by itself, is plainly an inappropriate purpose.”

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