Banned adviser may have been blindsided by CBA licensee

A document seen by ifa suggests that an adviser banned by ASIC may have been blindsided by his former CBA-aligned licensee.

Yesterday, ASIC announced that it has banned Matthew Geappen for a period of five years after the regulator expressed concern he advised his clients to switch from one insurance product to another, commonly referred to as 'churn', which allowed him to generate commissions from insurance providers.

According to the corporate watchdog, Mr Geappen’s ban is part of ASIC’s Wealth Management Project, meaning his alleged misconduct occurred during his stint as an adviser for CBA-aligned licensee Financial Wisdom.

Its investigation found that he:

  • failed to act in the best interests of his clients;
  • failed to give advice that was appropriate;
  • failed to give priority to the interests of his clients over his own interests; and
  • was not adequately trained or competent to provide financial services.

But in a quality advice assurance review report from Financial Wisdom dated 21 March 2016, seen by ifa, Financial Wisdom only found three minor isues with Mr Geappen's advice to clients.

Regarding one client, the report noted further information and coaching needed to be provided to the client on the validity of the SoA being 30 days after it’s provided.

The other two issues regarded the proper discussion and documentation of client goals.

Further, it noted the issue “has not been raised as a concern in this report, but is provided as feedback only”.

Mr Geappen was with Financial Wisdom from December 2006 to December 2016, before moving to Dover Financial from December 2016 to May 2018.

He then moved from Dover to Synchron in May 2018 until October 2018, before his banning order commenced on 30 November 2018.

The audit report does not say Mr Geappen’s advices are not in the clients’ best interests, not appropriate or prioritise his interests over the clients’ interests, as was mentioned in ASIC’s banning order.

Nor did the audit report say the adviser is not adequately trained, is not competent to provide financial services advice and is of poor fame and character.

More to come.


Banned adviser may have been blindsided by CBA licensee
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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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