ASIC has banned Perth-based financial adviser, Lawrence O’Neill, from providing financial services for four years, following an ASIC surveillance of O’Neill’s activities when he was an authorised representative of Godfrey Pembroke Limited, owned by National Australia Bank, and Wealthsure Financial Services Pty Ltd.
The regulator found that O’Neill failed to comply with financial services laws and is not adequately trained to provide financial services.
A review of O’Neill’s advice files found that:
- He did not properly consider his clients’ circumstances or objectives
- In some cases, did not consider their existing products when providing personal advice
- Failed to explain why ongoing advice was required for some of his clients
In addition, ASIC found that O’Neill failed to:
- Disclose to his clients his relevant associations and relationships with product issuers
- To clearly explain the benefits he and his licensee stood to gain if the clients proceeded with his recommendations
The regulator stated it expects financial advisers providing personal advice to prioritise their clients’ interests over their own and to be transparent about potential conflicts of interest so clients can make better informed decisions.
ASIC added that the banning of O’Neill will be recorded on ASIC’s publicly available Financial Advisers Register and the Banned and Disqualified Persons Register and he has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.