ASIC has permanently banned former Melbourne adviser Robert Shane Michael from providing financial services, after he was found out for dishonestly borrowing money from clients’ SMSF accounts for his own personal expenses.
The regulator ruled Mr Michael had breached financial services laws and was note of good fame and character on 26 July.
From August 2009 to July 2017, Mr Michael was an authorised representative of Marigold Falconer International and Allied Financial Solutions through his business RM Wealth Management.
ASIC’s investigation found that between April 2012 to September 2018, the Bentleigh-based adviser had procured loans from four of his clients’ SMSF accounts totalling $204,000.
The loans were used for his own personal expenditure which included staving off bankruptcy, paying private school fees, gambling and other general expenses.
ASIC deemed Mr Michael’s conduct as dishonest, misleading and deceptive, also finding that he failed to disclose commissions on investments that he recommended and implemented on behalf of clients while failing to disclose a conflict of interest and failed to prioritise clients’ needs ahead of his own.
Mr Michael failed to provide clients with statements of advice, product disclosure statements and fee disclosure statements and had engaged in unlicensed financial advice beyond the cessation of his authorisation as an adviser.
He also failed to act in the best interest of clients in relation to loans procured from clients and recommended high risk investments that were contrary to clients’ risk appetites, ASIC said.
Mr Michael has a right to lodge an application for review with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
His banning will be recorded on ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register.
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