June 28, 2019
A Queensland financial adviser from Beenleigh has been banned by ASIC who found the advice he provided did not take into account the individual circumstances of his clients because he used a templated approach for all clients.
The regulator has banned Frazer Jon Muscat from providing financial services for a period of five years following an ASIC surveillance which looked at advice Muscat provided to clients when he was an authorised representative of Bristol Street Financial Services Pty Ltd.
ASIC’s review found that Muscat had developed an ‘insurance needs calculation template’, which recommended his clients apply for levels of insurance that were higher than their circumstances required. In many cases, his recommendations were at complete odds with his clients’ current objectives and needs.
It also found Muscat had switched the superannuation accounts of some clients from one provider to another without investigating their existing arrangements. In other cases, he recommended switching to a more expensive product without demonstrating that the switch would be in his clients’ best interests.
The regulator noted that in focusing his advice on switching insurance and superannuation, Muscat also failed to provide advice on other relevant areas specifically requested by his clients, such as debt reduction and cash flow management.
ASIC Commissioner, Danielle Press, said, “Advisers have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of their clients at all times and, because client circumstances often vary considerably, using a templated approach will not produce the most appropriate advice recommendations in all instances.”