ASIC has banned Stephen Michael Beckton, a financial adviser and former authorised representative of Sentinel Private Wealth Pty Ltd (Sentinel), from providing financial services for five years.
ASIC found Mr Beckton did not comply with financial services laws on a number of occasions.
An ASIC review of Mr Beckton's advice found that he had recommended clients change superannuation and insurance products in circumstances where there was little benefit, but significant cost, to the client in changing. This advice benefited Mr Beckton through increased adviser fees and commissions he received from insurers. In doing so, Mr Beckton:
- failed to act in the best interests of his clients, by:
- failing to conduct a reasonable investigation of their existing superannuation and insurance products; and
- giving them advice that may have left them in a worse position than if they had not followed his advice;
- failed to provide appropriate advice to his clients;
- failed to accurately disclose the fees associated with his advice; and
- failed to put the interests of his clients ahead of his own, when he knew that there was a conflict of interest.
ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell said, 'Financial advisers must put their clients' interests ahead of their own. Super switching that provides little benefit to the client but is very profitable to advisers is clearly unacceptable.'
Mr Beckton's banning will be recorded on ASIC's register of financial advisers.
Mr Beckton has a right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.
Mr Beckton was a representative of Sentinel from September 2013 to October 2016.
ASIC published Information Sheet 182 (INFO 182) in August 2013. INFO 182 provides information and compliance tips for financial advisers who provide super switching advice.