ASIC has banned a Gold Coast adviser from providing financial services for five years after a surveillance found that he had failed to act in the best interests of his clients.
ASIC reviewed the advice Daniel John Renneberg had provided to 15 of his clients while he was an authorised representative of Austplan. On reviewing the files, ASIC found that Mr Renneberg received referrals from GM Homes Australia to help its clients establish self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) to purchase an investment property.
ASIC found that Mr Renneberg had not provided the clients appropriate financial advice or acted in their best interests. He had advised some clients to set up SMSFs with limited recourse loan arrangements that were completely unsuitable and placed his clients in a vulnerable financial position.
"Mr Renneberg completely failed to consider his clients’ needs, objectives and circumstances. Mr Renneberg also failed to give his clients statements of advice that set out the advice he provided and the information on which he based his advice," ASIC said.
ASIC commissioner Danielle Press said SMSFs are not for everyone and using an SMSF to borrow money and buy a property is a high-risk strategy.
"ASIC will be looking very carefully at advisers who recommend this strategy and taking swift action where we see problems," she said.
"Financial advisers must not rely solely on client direction when establishing an SMSF. They must adequately demonstrate why an SMSF is appropriate and why it is in their clients’ best interests.
"ASIC expects financial advisers to use their skills, expertise and judgement in determining whether an SMSF is indeed appropriate for their clients’ personal circumstances and needs."
Mr Renneberg was an authorised representative of Austplan (from 1 March 2015 to 5 June 2018) and its sole director when Austplan’s AFS licence was cancelled.
He was previously an authorised representative of Professional Investment Services (from 11 April 2006 to 14 May 2010).
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