ASIC Bans Adviser For Misleading Insurance Information

ASIC has banned a former adviser employed by two of the major banks after it found he failed to act in the best interests of clients, and gave inappropriate advice in the areas of superannuation and life insurance.

The regulator banned Brisbane based adviser, Christopher Ramsay, for five years after finding he failed to assess whether his clients’ existing products met their needs and that he provided misleading information to support his recommendations for clients to switch superannuation and insurance products.

Specifically, ASIC found Ramsay included misleading fee comparison tables in advice documents which suggested a recommended super fund was cheaper than the clients’ existing fund, when this was not the case or he was not comparing similar fee structures. ASIC also found he included a misleading statement in an advice document which claimed the client’s existing insurer did not offer income protection insurance, when it did.

As a result of these actions, ASIC found that Ramsay’s clients paid more for some products than they had previously paid and had understood they would pay, and, in some cases, the higher cost of products recommended reduced the level of superannuation savings without the clients’ knowledge.

At the time of the actions Ramsay was an employee representative of Westpac Banking Corporation (from October 2010 to March 2015) and an authorised representative of GWM Adviser Services, owned by NAB (from April 2015 to May 2017).

Ramsay’s ban is part of ASIC Wealth Management Project will be recorded on the Financial Advisers Register, and he has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.