January 18, 2018
ASIC has banned a former Commonwealth Financial Planning (CommFP) adviser for five years for failing to act in the best interests of clients when providing life insurance advice.
The regulator banned Kimberley Holgate, of Wagga Wagga, NSW, who was an authorised representative of CommFP from January 2014 to October 2015, after it found she:
- did not act in the best interests of clients by advising them to cancel existing insurance policies and apply for personal insurance issued by CommInsure
- did not act in the best interests of clients when advising they rollover their existing super to a new product issued by Colonial First State
- failed to prioritise the interests of her clients when advising them to acquire financial products which entitled her, her employer and its related entities to a financial benefit
- engaged in conduct that was likely to mislead by cutting clients’ signatures from documents held on file and pasting them onto new documents.
ASIC also stated that Holgate cancelled clients’ existing insurance prior to replacement cover being approved, resulting in some clients being left without cover temporarily or permanently, while some had to pay increased premiums and fees. It added the super advice provided did not result in any improvement to Holgate’s clients’ current financial position.
Holgate’s banning has been recorded on ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register and she has to the right to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.
The banning is part of ASIC’s Wealth Management Project which is examining the conduct of advisers working for large advice firms owned by NAB, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Macquarie and AMP, and has resulted in the banning of 40 advisers.