The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned financial adviser Julie Hamilton from providing financial services for three years for failing to act in her clients' best interests.
ASIC found that Ms Hamilton had failed to:
- make enquiries into her clients' financial circumstances when recommending switching their superannuation and insurance;
- consider her clients' circumstances when providing advice on superannuation and insurance;
- give priority to the interests of her clients when providing advice; and
- disclose fees and charges associated with the implementation of her advice.
ASIC's surveillance of Ms Hamilton covered her advice provided to clients while she was an authorised representative of both Financial Wisdom Ltd (from February 2011 to November 2014) and also an authorised representative of Dover (since November 2014).
Ms Hamilton's banning will be recorded on ASIC's register of financial advisers.
Ms Hamilton has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.
The banning of Ms Hamilton is part of ASIC's Wealth Management Project, which was established in October 2014 to lift the standards of 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). Financial Wisdom Limited is owned by CBA.
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; and
- seeking regulatory outcomes, where appropriate, against licensees and advisers.
As part of its Wealth Management Project, ASIC has banned 38 advisers from the financial services industry. Six advisor bannings are the subject of appeals.