16-429MR ASIC bans life insurance financial adviser for seven years

ASIC has banned life insurance financial adviser Mr Mateen Mohammed, of Calamvale, Queensland, from providing financial services for seven years.

ASIC’s action against Mr Mohammed, a former authorised representative of Synchronised Business Services Pty Ltd, is part of ongoing enforcement and regulatory action following ASIC’s review of life insurance advice.

As a result of ASIC's surveillance, it was found that Mr Mohammed:

  • had not maintained the high standards expected of a provider of financial services;
  • did not understand the duties and obligations imposed on a provider of financial services; and
  • could not be relied upon to discharge the duties and obligations imposed on a provider of financial services.

In particular, it was found that Mr Mohammed did not act in the best interests of his clients in that he failed to:

  • make reasonable enquires into clients' relevant objectives, financial situation and needs;
  • conduct a reasonable investigation into financial products that might achieve the objectives of the clients, including their existing superannuation and insurance products; and
  • prioritise the interests of his clients over his own.

ASIC also found that he had submitted an insurance application without his client's knowledge and as a result had misled or deceived the insurer as to his authority to do so.

ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said, 'Any advice to switch existing life insurance and superannuation products must be in the client's best interest. Where there is nothing in the client’s relevant circumstances to indicate that the switch would be beneficial, ASIC will conclude that the client is not in a better position.'  

Mr Mohammed was an authorised representative of Synchronised Business Services Pty Ltd during the relevant period, from 1 July 2010 to 22 April 2015.

Mr Mohammed has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.

Background

Outcomes following ASIC’s review of life insurance advice include:

  • in May 2016, ASIC accepted an enforceable undertaking from Michael Melamed, a former authorised representative of Synchronised Business Service Pty Ltd (refer:16-147MR)
  • in February 2016, ASIC permanently banned life insurance financial adviser Andrew Moroney (refer: 16-036MR)
  • in January 2016, ASIC accepted an enforceable undertaking from Clearview Financial Advice Pty Ltd representative, Jason Churchill (refer:16-008MR);
  • in September 2015, ASIC banned life insurance financial adviser and former authorised representative Lukas Zelka of Neo Financial Solutions Pty Ltd from providing financial services for three years (refer: 15-269MR);
  • in July 2015, ASIC banned life insurance financial adviser Brian Farber from providing financial services for four years (refer: 15-178MR);
  • in January 2015, ASIC imposed conditions on the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Suncorp-owned Guardian Advice (refer: 15-003MR).