ASIC has permanently banned a former Queensland financial adviser from providing financial services and engaging in credit activity.
The corporate regulator found Stewart James Banks, former representative of Professional Investment Services (PIS), acted dishonestly and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct under the Corporations Act between September 2012 and April 2015.
Mr Banks violated the Act by creating documents, invoices and fee forms, in relation to six clients, that were false because he did not undertake the hours of work claimed and was not entitled to the fees charged. He also told two clients that he was paid by the insurance product provider when he in fact drew fees directly from clients’ superannuation.
Mr Banks was also found guilty of providing false declarations to the trustee of the superannuation fund in order to access fees from six clients’ superannuation accounts totalling $286,530.60, and giving funds to clients from their superannuation, unknown to his clients, and keeping a portion of the funds for himself.
“ASIC will take action to remove dishonest persons from the financial services and credit industry to protect the public,” ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said.
“Mr Banks’ conduct was particularly harmful in that his actions eroded his clients’ superannuation which exists for the sole purpose of providing retirement benefits to members or to their dependents if a member dies before retirement.”
ASIC also found that Mr Banks was not of good character as his conduct was dishonest and involved the betrayal of client trust, as well as deceiving PIS and the trustee of the superannuation fund.
Mr Banks has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.
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