ASIC has banned Mr Ben Rickman, of Point Cook, Victoria, from providing financial services for three years after he was found to not be adequately trained or competent to provide financial services.
Mr Rickman was formerly an employee of Macquarie Equities Limited (MEL) from July 2012 to June 2014.
ASIC's investigation found that during the period he was employed by MEL, Mr Rickman gave advice to his clients which involved the drafting of legal documents such as wills, and the giving of legal advice about those documents. Mt Rickman also represented that he was a "solicitor/conveyancer" in a property purchase transaction.
Mr Rickman has no legal qualifications and is not licensed as a conveyancer.
ASIC found that the poor results of file reviews conducted by Macquarie and the fact that Mr Rickman acted outside the scope of his Macquarie Representative Authority and employment agreement demonstrated that Rickman does not have the ability, professional skills or judgement to competently provide financial services. Further, ASIC found that Mr Rickman has demonstrated a lack of understanding regarding the role of a financial adviser.
MR Rickman has appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.
This outcome is a result of ASIC's Wealth Management Project. The wealth Management Project was established in October 2014 with the objective of lifting standards by major financial advice providers. The Wealth Management Project focuses on the conduct of the largest financial advice firms (NAB, Westpac, CBA, ANZ, Macquarie and AMP).
ASIC's work in the Wealth Management Project covers a number of areas including:
- Working with the largest financial advice firms to address the identification and remediation of non-compliant advice;
- Seeking regulatory outcomes, where appropriate, against licensees and advisers. For example, as part of its Wealth Management Project, ASIC has banned the following advisers from the financial services industry, in addition to Mr Rickman:
- Ben Cheug (refer: 16-004MR)
- Mark Tidbury (refer: 15-383MR)
- Amanda Ritchie (refer: 15-294MR)
- Stuart Murray Jamieson (refer:15-288MR)
- Sharnie Kent (refer: 15-286MR)
- Alfie Chong (refer: 15-259MR)
- Martin Hodgetts (refer: 15-218MR)
- Shawn Hickman (refer: 15-213MR)
- Brett O'Malley (refer: 15-121MR)
- Brian Farber (refer: 15-178MR)
- Rebecca Locksley (refer: 15-070MR)