ASIC permanently bans financial adviser

Financial adviser banned

ASIC has permanently banned a financial adviser found guilty last year of fraudulently misappropriating client funds.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has permanently banned a New South Wales-based financial adviser from providing financial and credit services.

The corporate regulator pursued an order to permanently remove Nicholas Ellis from the financial advice and credit industries after he was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for fraud in October 2019 for making false statements to obtain money from clients and fraudulent misappropriation of client funds.

Ellis was previously banned by ASIC for six years in 2013 for engaging in dishonest conduct between 2 March 2009 and 20 June 2010 during his time as the director of Newcastle-based company 2020 Financial Solutions Pty Ltd.

At the time, the regulator’s investigation into the matter found Ellis had transferred $200,000 from an elderly client’s SMSF and used the funds for his own purposes, including paying credit card debts and purchasing personal assets. He was also found to have made dishonest statements to the client as to where the money would be invested.

Following Ellis’s 2013 banning, ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer said: “ASIC will take action to protect self-managed superannuation funds by ensuring they are not accessed and abused by unscrupulous operators like Mr Ellis.

“Those who blatantly disregard their obligations as a financial service provider will be removed from the industry. Banning orders such as this are designed to maintain confidence in the financial services industry, particularly the self-managed super fund space.”

Earlier this month, ASIC banned a West Australian SMSF adviser for five years for failing to meet best interest obligations by recommending clients set-up funds despite having low superannuation balances.

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