ASIC has banned Queensland financial adviser, Mark Rothnie, for three years for failing to act in the best interests of his clients and for failing to provide appropriate advice.
During ASIC’s surveillance, Rothnie was an authorised representative of Australian financial services licensee, GPS Wealth Limited.
Following the surveillance, the regulator stated it found Rothnie had:
- Failed to properly investigate and document his clients’ relevant financial and personal circumstances
- Failed to give adequate consideration to his clients’ existing insurance products before making a recommendation to switch them, which resulted in clients being worse off
ASIC Commissioner, Danielle Press, said, “financial advisers are expected to understand their clients’ personal circumstances and take those circumstances into consideration when providing personal advice”.
Press added: “When recommending that clients switch from an existing life insurance product, advisers must fully consider the risks of the switch and if it is necessary to meet the clients’ goals and objectives.
“Advisers have a legal obligation to prioritise their clients’ interests and to comply with the best interests duty when providing personal advice. ASIC will continue to take action where advisers don’t comply with the law,” Press said.
The regulator’s decision to ban Rothnie is a result of work ASIC undertook as part of its Life Insurance Lapse Data Project.
Established in 2016, the Project aimed to make greater use of data to focus ASIC’s surveillance of life insurance advice, with the aim of improving life insurance advice provided to Australian consumers.
The banning of Rothnie will be recorded on ASIC’s publicly available Financial Advisers Register and on the Banned and Disqualified Persons Register.