“Owing investors approximately $9 million (17-246MR). Many of the investors were pensioners and were approached by telemarketing or word of mouth. Investors were convinced to borrow against their homes and were told that their money would be used to develop property in Tasmania. Instead, the money paid by investors was used to pay back interest owed to other investors, payments to employees, cash withdrawals and transfers to personal bank accounts.”
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
ASIC has banned financial adviser, Mr Darren Tindall, of Orange, NSW, from providing financial services for five years after an investigation found he failed to comply with financial services laws.
Mr Tindall was an authorised representative of Roan Financial Group Pty Ltd between 9 May 2013 and 19 May 2014, and was based in Orange, NSW.
Mr Tindall was banned from providing financial services after ASIC found that he had:
- engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct on a client's behalf by failing to disclose their pre-existing medical conditions on an insurance application submitted to an insurer;
- engaged in dishonest conduct by not disclosing the medical conditions in transferring that insurance obtained to a new insurer; and
- recklessly made misleading comparisons about superannuation products to four clients, which induced those clients to switch their superannuation.
ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell said, 'ASIC will take action against financial advisers who have been dishonest or who mislead their clients, in order to increase public confidence in the financial services industry.'
On 17 January 2017, Mr Tindall applied to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a stay of the banning and review of ASIC's decision. The stay application was heard on 27 January 2017. On 9 February 2017, the AAT refused the stay. The date for the hearing of review of ASIC's decision is yet to be set.
ASIC has banned Mr Andrew TambyRajah, a former employee of ANZ Financial Planning, from providing financial services for a period of five years.
Mr TambyRajah, of Sydney, New South Wales was a financial planner with ANZ Financial Planning at Hurstville between 19 January 2006 and 30 July 2014.
Mr TambyRajah was banned from providing financial services as ASIC found that he engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by creating false documents and falsely amending documents contained on client files. The conduct included:
- writing clients' names and initials on documents in the places designated for their signatures and initials;
- changing the dates recorded on a number of documents; and
- creating false investor profile forms for two clients by photocopying forms they had signed in previous years and changing the dates on the copied documents.
Deputy Chairman, Peter Kell said, 'Financial advisers are important gatekeepers who must act honestly to increase broader public confidence in the financial services industry.
'This banning should serve as a deterrent to any financial adviser tempted to act dishonestly.'
Mr TambyRajah has the right to seek a review of ASIC’s decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
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, when appropriate, against licensees and advisers.
As part of its Wealth Management Project, ASIC has banned the following advisers from the financial services industry, in addition to Mr TambyRajah:
- Anthony Bishop (16-409MR)
- James Edward McCarthy (16-398MR)
- Troy Andrew Rodney Williams (16-342MR)
- Michael Mahoney (16-323MR)
- Damian O'Rourke (16-318MR)
- Rommel Panganiban (16-309MR)
- Anthony Jason Sourris (16-270MR)
- Sarah Kate Gardner (16-269MR)
- Nicholas Kerr (16-260MR)
- Craig Scott Miller (16-239MR)
- Wayne Meadth (16-188MR)
- Hardik Bhimani (16-124MR)
- Gerard McCormack (16-059MR)
- Shane Thompson (16-022MR)
- Ben Rickman (16-006MR)
- Ben Cheung (16-004MR)
- Mark Tidbury (15-383MR)
- Amanda Ritchie (15-294MR)
- Stuart Murray Jamieson (15-288MR)
- Sharnie Kent (15-286MR)
- Alfie Chong (15-259MR)
- Martin Hodgetts (15-218MR)
- Shawn Hickman (15-213MR)
- Brett O'Malley (15-121MR)
- Brian Farber (15-178MR), and
- Rebecca Locksley (15-070MR).