February 8, 2016
Updates from ASIC during the past week include news that a former NAB Adviser has been banned for seven years:
A former National Australia Bank adviser has been banned for seven years from providing financial services and credit activities after he was found to have engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission banned Shane Thompson of New Gisborne, Victoria, following an investigation and hearing into Thompson’s behaviour during the period from December 2012 to February 2013.
Thompson was employed by NAB during in period, during which the regulator found he prepared and completed ‘Change of Adviser’ forms, including the forging of client signatures, without clients’ knowledge or authorisation.
ASIC also found Thompson submitted the false ‘Change of Adviser’ forms to mislead the product issuer into transferring general NAB clients to his personal financial planning client list, and received remuneration benefits that flowed from processing these false forms.
Thompson, who has the right to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review and stay of ASIC’s decision, is the 13th adviser to be banned under ASIC’s Wealth Management Project, which began in October 2014 and is focused on the conduct of large financial advice firms, particularly NAB, Westpac, CBA, ANZ, AMP and Macquarie.
Other ASIC action
The corporate regulator was also successful in permanently restraining an unlicensed Queensland couple from carrying on a financial services business after a hearing in the Supreme Court of Queensland.
In July 2015 ASIC had made applications for orders under the Corporations Act to declare that Dr Roger Munro had been carrying on a financial services business without holding an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence.
The applications also declared that Kathleen Munro had either been carrying on a financial services business without holding an AFS licence, or had been aiding or abetting Dr Munro to do so.
ASIC had sought injunctions restricting Roger and Kathleen Munro from continuing to carry on a financial services business in Australia.
It had also sought a disclosure order directing Roger Munro to provide information about his fundraising activities and the location of investor funds, and while this was granted on 7 August 2015 the matter remains before the Court.
The hearing resulted from ASIC alleging that since August 2011 Roger Munro, with assistance from Kathleen Munro, had operated an unlicensed financial services business in Australia and raised over $1.5 million from investors, friends and family for trading purposes.
According to evidence given during the trial proceeding the funds were invested in a trading group called Tradestation Futures, with each investor still owed significant sums by Dr Munro.
ASIC’s investigation is continuing.