ASIC, Financial Planning

ASIC bans adviser over risky advice

ASIC banned Adelaide adviser

An Adelaide adviser has been banned by ASIC for not acting in his clients’ best interests and ignoring an SMSF investment strategy.

An Adelaide-based financial adviser who left clients exposed to investment risks outside the parameters of their SMSF investment strategy has been banned for five years by ASIC after he was found to not have acted in the best interests of clients.

Francesco Antonio (Tony) Romano was banned by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) from providing financial services and from being involved in the carrying on of a financial services business after it found he failed to provide financial advice that was appropriate and in the best interests of his clients.

ASIC also stated Romano engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and was found not to be a fit and proper person to provide financial services.

Specifically, the regulator stated Romano did not make reasonable inquiries to obtain complete and up-to-date information about his clients and failed to consider his clients’ needs and objectives when giving advice.

It added he also recommended clients make no changes to their investment portfolios even when they were being invested outside the parameters of their risk profile or the investment strategy of their SMSF, resulting in exposure to an inappropriate high-growth asset allocation.

Romano was also found to have made misleading and deceptive statements in an email to clients in which he falsely claimed that prior to leaving ANZ, where he worked as an authorised representative from October 2003 to March 2016, his files were audited and found to be exemplary.

Following his departure from ANZ, he was an authorised representative of Synchronised Business Services (Synchron) from April 2016 to April 2018.

Romano’s banning will be recorded on ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register and  Banned and Disqualified Persons Register. He has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.

ASIC has banned a number of financial advisers in relation to SMSF-related advice in 2020 due to theft and dishonesty charges, the provision of inappropriate advice on the establishment of an SMSF, providing blanket advice to clients, and misappropriation of client funds.

Copyright © SMS Magazine 2024

ABN 43 564 725 109

Benchmark Media

Site design Red Cloud Digital