Adviser cops 4-year ban over SMSF advice
A former Sydney adviser has been banned from providing financial services for four years after ASIC found he had failed in his duties to act in his clients’ best interests.
Adrian Khaw has been banned from providing financial services for four years following an investigation by the corporate watchdog which found that he had failed to comply with financial services laws while he was an authorised representative of National Australia Bank-owned Apogee Financial Planning Limited and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited.
ASIC found Mr Khaw had failed to prioritise clients’ interests, to comply with the best interests duty and to provide appropriate advice. It also found that Mr Khaw was “not adequately trained, or competent, to provide financial services and that he engaged in misleading conduct by backdating file notes”.
“A review of Mr Khaw’s advice files revealed that his clients wanted to purchase an investment property and were referred to him by an associated mortgage broking business,” an ASIC statement noted.
“Despite having differing needs and circumstances, Mr Khaw advised almost all of his clients to establish a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), or use an existing SMSF, and to use limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBAs) to fund the purchase of a property.
“ASIC found that Mr Khaw failed in his duty as a financial adviser to put in place a strategy that was in the client’s best interests. Mr Khaw failed to provide a professional, independent assessment of whether an SMSF, which borrowed to invest in property, was an appropriate strategy for his clients. ASIC found that Mr Khaw put his own interests ahead of the interests of his clients and that his advice exposed a number of his clients to financial harm.”
Commenting further, ASIC commissioner Danielle Press said: “Advisers must take into account their clients’ personal circumstances, needs and financial goals to ensure that the advice they provide is appropriate.
“Failing to do so clearly indicates a lack of regard for the law and, most importantly, for the interests of clients.”