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Regulator slaps ex-adviser with 4-year ban

The corporate regulator has banned a former aligned adviser from providing financial services for four years after he allegedly provided misleading information to fund members around super rollovers.

In a statement, ASIC said it had banned former Aon Hewitt Financial Advice representative Andrew Hills following surveillance from 2014 to 2017 that found Mr Hills had allegedly authorised misleading letters to be issued to Aon Master Trust members.

The letters related to the transition to Aon MySuper products and contained inaccurate information around the performance of Aon MySuper, the timing of the MySuper transition, and the lower fees and premiums associated with Aon MySuper, ASIC alleged.

The letters further misled consumers that they would be opted out of the transition to MySuper within five days if they did not respond to the letters, and said some consumers had been given financial advice not to transition to MySuper, the regulator said.

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“The letters did not disclose that it would be in Mr Hills’ interests if the members decided to opt out of MySuper, because his company would continue to receive commissions if the members opted out of MySuper,” ASIC said.

“After receiving the letters, hundreds of members did not fully transition to MySuper. Instead, their accrued default amounts remained in Aon Master Trust’s ‘choice’ superannuation product, which was generally more expensive than the MySuper product.”

Under the government’s Stronger Super reforms, members were required to be transitioned to MySuper products by default by 1 July 2017 unless they opted out.

Mr Hills was an authorised representative of Aon Hewitt Financial Advice Limited between February 2009 and December 2018.

The group’s financial advice business was sold in a management buyout in early 2019.

According to ASIC data, Mr Hills’ authorisation was ceased earlier this month.

Regulator slaps ex-adviser with 4-year ban
ASIC
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