ASIC has permanently banned Queensland financial adviser Mr Michael Gordon McIlwraith Taylor from providing financial services. Mr Taylor was an authorised representative of Morgans Financial Limited from 10 March 2004 until 21 September 2015.
Between 2007 and 2015, Mr Taylor borrowed approximately $1.2 million from 16 clients. Borrowing from clients involved a conflict of interest which should have been apparent to Mr Taylor prior to him borrowing.
In the period that Mr Taylor provided financial services, he used the money borrowed from clients to fund his own investments in options. He borrowed these funds from clients at a time when they had not obtained independent professional advice and took advantage of his professional relationship with those clients. In doing so, he exposed them to high financial risks.
Mr Taylor also failed to consider the personal circumstances of five clients when entering into an options trade on their behalf.
As a result of this conduct, ASIC determined that Mr Taylor was not competent, inadequately trained and not of good fame and character.
ASIC has also found that Mr Taylor failed to comply with financial services laws, in that he:
- engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by not informing five clients about proposed options trading which was contrary to a statement of advice or contrary to what the client had stated to him; and
- failed to act in the best interests of three of those five clients by providing personal advice in relation to options that was contrary to the client’s relevant circumstances.
Mr Taylor has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.
ASIC's MoneySmart website has useful information for clients of advisers to help them understand what to do if their adviser has been banned.