ASIC bans former SMSF financial adviser

ASIC has banned a former financial adviser after an investigation found he failed to act in the best interests of clients when providing advice on establishing SMSFs and using limited recourse borrowing arrangements.

Former Perth financial adviser Jason Sean Atkins has been banned from providing financial services for a period of three years.

In a public statement, ASIC said Mr Atkins provided advice to clients to establish an SMSF and use limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBAs) to fund the purchase of real property that was in breach of the best interests duty introduced under the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms.

ASIC said Mr Atkins had “failed to act in the best interests of four clients”, and was not satisfied that Mr Atkins had identified the subject matter of the advice.

It was also not satisfied that he had conducted a reasonable investigation into the financial products that might achieve the objectives and meet the needs of the client that would reasonably be considered as relevant to advice on that subject matter, or understood what was required of him to comply with the best interest duty.

Mr Atkins has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.

ASIC Commissioner John Price said financial advisers must act in the best interests of their clients.

“ASIC is committed to improving conduct in the wealth management industry, and we will act to remove individuals who do not live up to the high standards expected of financial advisers,” said Mr Price.

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