NSW adviser served with four-year ban

A northern NSW-based adviser has been banned from providing financial services by the corporate regulator for failing to make sufficient inquiries into his clients’ circumstances.

David O’Brien was an authorised representative of AMP-owned Charter Financial Planning and, most recently, NAB-owned GWM Adviser Services, ASIC said in a statement.

ASIC’s review of a sample of Mr O’Brien’s advice files found that he failed to:

  • make sufficient inquiries into his clients’ circumstances;
  • conduct reasonable investigations into their existing financial products; and
  • provide advice based on his clients’ personal circumstances.

ASIC said it found that when providing advice on superannuation, Mr O’Brien made no inquiries into matters such as costs, investment strategy, or whether his clients already had any insurance in place within their existing superannuation arrangements.

When providing insurance advice, ASIC said Mr O’Brien failed to prepare a needs analysis or objectively assess what level of insurance cover would achieve his clients’ needs.

The corporate regulator noted that one of Mr O’Brien’s clients had their cover declined for pre-existing medical conditions after their existing insurance had been cancelled, leaving them uninsured.

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“Financial advisers have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of their clients when providing personal advice,” ASIC said.

“This includes taking reasonable steps to understand their clients’ personal circumstances and exploring existing financial products to ensure they are providing appropriate advice that meets their clients’ objectives.”

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

NSW adviser served with four-year ban
ASIC
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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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