Hayne commission ‘full of deliberate misstatements’: Dover

Dover Financial director Terry McMaster has laid into the Hayne royal commission for perpetuating a “false narrative” he says was brought on by the corporate regulator.

In Dover’s submission to the interim report of the royal commission, Mr McMaster referred to the report as “full of deliberate misstatements”.

“It could be you, your staff, and/or ASIC. It does not matter. Your report is full of deliberate misstatements. The intention is obvious – to help ASIC build a false narrative on Dover,” he said.

Mr McMaster referred to the royal commission’s cross-examination as “a misleading ASIC set up” that was allowed to happen under the watch of commissioner Kenneth Hayne.

He then called ASIC’s set up “a malicious misuse of power” that was part of its strategy to force Dover to cease advice, off-board advisers and cancel its licence.

Further, Mr McMaster accused the royal commission of deliberately suppressing evidence about Dover to assist ASIC’s “commercial goal of shutting Dover down”.

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“If this was deliberate you should be ashamed. If it was not deliberate you should be embarrassed. In either case, a public apology is appropriate,” Mr McMaster said.

“I am compelled to remember a mentor who advised me if you ever make a mistake the best thing to do is to admit it and correct it as soon as you can. I pass on her advice on to you.

“Please amend your interim report appropriately as soon as possible.”

Advisers Adam Palmer and Andrew Smith

Mr McMaster pointed to ASIC documents regarding advisers Adam Palmer and Andrew Smith, which he believed the Hayne commission has been suppressing to support the false narrative on Dover.

He said both documents completely change ASIC’s Dover narrative, and “refute virtually every criticism in the interim report”.

"These ASIC documents show both advisers gave good advice at Dover, and that Dover's new adviser recruitment policies were compliant and effective," Mr McMaster said.

“They show ASIC knew Dover’s compliance processes, including its adviser recruitment processes and SOA review processes, worked beautifully. They refute virtually every criticism in the interim report.

“The royal commission and ASIC deliberately suppressed relevant evidence that, if not suppressed, told a completely different story about Dover’s compliance processes.”

Dover's Client Protection Policy

Another example cited by Mr McMaster as evidence of the royal commission suppressing evidence was in the case of Dover's Client Protection Policy (CPP), a matter he said was "not in the Dover rubric and therefore an ambush".

He said the royal commission didn't disclose that, during 2016 and 2017, Dover provided hundreds of SOAs to ASIC for review, of which most included the CPP.

"ASIC reviewed these SOAs and advised Dover they complied with the best interest duty and other relevant tests, and there would be no further action," Mr McMaster said.

"ASIC did not express any concerns with the CPP, although it had countless opportunities to do so. Dover repeatedly asked for compliance feedback but none was provided."

More to come.

Hayne commission ‘full of deliberate misstatements’: Dover
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Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is a deputy editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.

You can contact him on [email protected].

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