Mr Dimitropoulos' banning arises from ASIC's ongoing investigation into a property and self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) promoting group, which includes the companies formerly called Heritage Financial Solutions Australia Pty Ltd (in liq) (Heritage Financial Solutions) and Sunpac Finance Pty Ltd (Sunpac Finance).
The corporate regulator has launched a major investigation into hundreds of funds in a bid to uncover unlicensed SMSF advice.
As reported by ifa sister publication SMSF Adviser earlier this year, ASIC is currently conducting a major shadow shopping exercise, and has now started contacting various SMSF professionals to collate data on the set-up process of hundreds of funds, as part of a massive research project set for release later this year.
In emails seen by SMSF Adviser, it is clear ASIC has selected several hundred funds that were set up in September 2016 for random investigation, and is contacting tax agents associated with the funds.
ASIC is asking if the clients of the tax agents received any professional advice about establishing their SMSF and, if so, that the contact details are passed on.
While ASIC is gathering details about both financial advisers and accountants as part of this project, it is understood that broadly, unlicensed accountants in particular are on the regulatory radar.
The information supplied to ASIC is treated as anonymous, but the general findings will be published in a report slated for the second half of this year, an ASIC spokesperson told SMSF Adviser.
ASIC could not outline any further details of the investigation, except to confirm that it is pursuing its “major” shadow shop as announced in February, and will be looking at random samples of SMSF advice.
Despite being relatively lax in the past to instances of accountants operating outside of the accountants’ exemption in particular, BDO’s national leader for superannuation Shirley Schaefer suggested ASIC will be taking no prisoners this time around.
“I suspect a lot of accountants have sat outside the accountants’ exemption for years, and ASIC never did anything about it in the past,” Ms Schaefer told SMSF Adviser.
She acknowledged that many accountants do not agree that the SMSF services they are providing fall into the financial advice category, an argument that is largely irrelevant in 2017.
“This is not just tax advice. I certainly believe [SMSFs are] a structure not a product, but that argument is gone. There’s no point having that one again. We’ve been there and it’s gone,” Ms Schaefer said.
Article from: Independent Financial Advisor
KATARINA TAURIAN- Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Mr Yingjie Wang (also known as Jay Wang)
A Lawyer and accountant from Sydney NSW, has been permanently banned from providing financial Services
Since June 2011, Mr Wang has been involved in the management of at least 14 companies who hold, or held, an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence. These companies include:
- LSG Group Pty Ltd (ACN 154 582 242) (formerly known as NZ Global Financial Trading Pty Ltd and Easy Capital Global Pty Ltd);
- Eagle Aetos Capital Pty Ltd (ACN 150 010 736) (formerly known as GSM Financial Group); and
- Hodgson Faraday Ltd (ACN 130 606 987) (formerly known as TM Index).
ASIC found Mr Wang was dishonest in that he knowingly caused Easy Capital Global Pty Ltd to use $100,000 of an investor's money for unauthorised purposes. Mr Wang also remained silent about a representation made to this same investor concerning the money which he knew to be false.
When examined by ASIC, Mr Wang was not forthcoming about his dishonesty and ASIC therefore found that Mr Wang was not of good fame and character.
ASIC Commissioner John Price said, 'ASIC will take action to remove dishonest persons from the financial services industry to protect the public.'
Mr Wang is seeking a review of ASIC's decision in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
ASIC has permanently banned Queensland financial adviser Mr Stewart James Banks, from the Gold Coast, from providing financial services and engaging in credit activity.
Mr Banks was employed as a representative of Professional Investment Services (PIS) from 18 April 2007 until 20 May 2015.
ASIC found that during the period between September 2012 and April 2015, Mr Banks had acted dishonestly and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct under the Corporations Act, in that he:
- Created documents, invoices, and fee forms in relation to six clients which were false because he did not undertake the hours of work claimed and was not entitled to the fees charged;
- Told two clients that he was paid by the insurance product provider when in fact he drew fees directly from clients' superannuation;
- Provided false declarations to the trustee of the superannuation fund in order to access fees from six clients' superannuation accounts totalling $286,530.60; and
- Gave funds to clients from their superannuation, and unknown to his clients, kept a portion of the funds for himself.
ASIC also found that Mr Banks was not of good fame and character as his conduct was dishonest and involved the betrayal of client trust, as well as deceiving PIS and the trustee of the superannuation fund.
ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell said, 'ASIC will take action to remove dishonest persons from the financial services and credit industry to protect the public.
'Mr Banks' conduct was particularly harmful in that his actions eroded his clients' superannuation, which exists for the sole purpose of providing retirement benefits to members, or to their dependents if a member dies before retirement.'
Mr Banks has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.