ASIC bans former Westpac adviser

The corporate regulator has announced it has banned former Westpac financial adviser Sudhir Kumar Sinha for five years.

Mr Sinha was an employed representative of Westpac from 2001 to 10 November 2014, ASIC said in a statement. He will be banned from providing financial services until 2 June 2022.

ASIC said it found that Mr Sinha systematically failed to meet his ongoing advice service obligations over a period of six years while he was employed by Westpac, including a failure to conduct ongoing reviews for at least nine clients.

The clients had paid for ongoing advice services and were entitled to receive these reviews, the statement said.

ASIC also found that Mr Sinha’s conduct demonstrated that he was not adequately trained, or was not competent to provide financial services during his employment with Westpac, and was likely to breach a financial services law in the future.

ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said, "ASIC is committed to improving conduct in the wealth management industry and we will act to remove advisers who do not live up to the high standards expected of financial advisers."

Westpac is remediating the clients impacted by Mr Sinha’s conduct and, as of 28 February 2017, has remediated $1,473,914 in respect of Mr Sinha’s ongoing advice failings, ASIC said.

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

ifa reported in October 2016 that ASIC had found several instances at the major financial institutions where customers were being charged for advice they never received. 

ASIC said its investigation into Mr Sinha's conduct followed a breach notification by Westpac. Westpac later identified to ASIC that 177 clients were charged fees who did not receive service by Mr Sinha.

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