ASIC has banned Anthony Jason Sourris, of Kenmore, Queensland, from providing financial services for two and a half years.
Mr Sourris was employed as a private client adviser in the Brisbane office of Macquarie Equities Limited (Macquarie) between 2008 and 2013.
An ASIC investigation found that Mr Sourris:
- Was involved in February 2013 in the creation of a falsely signed and backdated client authority form, and lied to Macquarie about the validity of this document.
- Advised eight clients between September 2011 and November 2012 to open options accounts to allow them to trade in exchange traded options, while failing to properly determine that this advice was appropriate for these clients or providing a Statement of Advice to clients prior to advising them to apply to open the options accounts.
While employed by Macquarie, Mr Sourris had a business relationship with his Macquarie colleague, Sarah Gardner, in which Mr Sourris provided investment advice to clients and Ms Gardner provided strategic and financial planning advice. ASIC has also banned Ms Gardner from providing financial services, for a period of one year (refer 16-269MR).
ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said, 'Financial planners are required to meet stringent compliance standards to protect the interests of their clients and instill confidence in the broader financial advice industry. ASIC will ensure advisers who fail to meet these standards are removed from the financial services industry.'
Mr Sourris has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.
The outcome is a result of ASIC's Wealth Management Project, which was established in October 2014 to lift 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:
1. working with the largest financial advice firms to address the identification and remediation of non-compliance advice;
2. seeking regulatory outcomes, where appropriate, against licensees and advisers. As part of this Project, ASIC has, for example, banned the following advisers from the financial services industry, in addition to Mr Sourris:
- Craig Miller (refer: 16-239MR)
- Wayne Meadth (refer: 16-188MR)
- Hardik Bhimani (refer: 16-124MR)
- Gerard McCormack (refer: 16-059MR)
- Shane Thompson (refer:16-022MR)
- Ben Rickman (refer:16-006MR)
- Ben Cheung (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), and
- Rebecca Locksley (refer: 15-070MR).