ASIC cancels license and bans advisers
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has cancelled the license of a financial advice firm and banned two advisers working under its banner.
The regulator first announced it had cancelled the license of Premier Wealth Management before announcing it had banned Gerald Cummings and Craig Allen for a period of five years.
It said Cummings was a director and authorised representative of Premier Wealth Management Financial Services Pty Ltd while Allen is the current director, authorised representative and responsible manager of Premier Wealth Management.
ASIC said the bans prevent Cummings and Allen from providing any financial services, performing any function involved in the carrying on of a financial services business, and controlling an entity that carries on a financial services business.
ASIC found Cummings failed to give Statements of Advice when there had been significant changes in clients’ circumstances and the basis for the advice. He engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in relation to review checklists on client files, claiming to confirm that certain tasks in the advice process had occurred when they had not.
It said Cummings also failed to implement a system to refund clients that had been overcharged fees.
ASIC found Allen was involved in Cummings’ non-compliance with the requirement to provide Statements of Advice.Allen had also audited his own files, engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to checklists on client files and had also failed to implement a system to refund any client overpayments. He failed to demonstrate that he has the skills, knowledge and expertise to perform his duties as a responsible manager and financial adviser to the standard required.
ASIC found that both Cummings and Allen demonstrated prolonged, wide ranging and ongoing incompetence and lacked compliance mentality. ASIC found that they are likely to contravene financial service laws in the future.
Cummings and Mr Allen have the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.