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ASIC bans financial adviser for 5 years over SMSF deals

By Keeli Cambourne
June 08 2023
1 minute read
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A Brisbane financial adviser who convinced his clients to roll over their existing superannuation to newly-established SMSFs and borrow to invest in residential property has received a five-year ban.

ASIC banned Brisbane financial adviser Stephen Garry Vick from providing financial services, performing any function involved in the carrying on of a financial services business, and controlling an entity that carries on a financial services business for five years.

The ban took effect on 5 September 2022. Mr Vick applied to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) seeking a review of ASIC’s decision, as well as stay and confidentiality orders. The AAT refused his applications for stay and confidentiality orders on 17 May 2023.


No hearing date has been set for the substantive review of ASIC’s decision.

ASIC found Mr Vick failed to act in the best interests of clients when he recommended his clients roll over their existing superannuation to a newly-established SMSF and borrow to invest in residential property.

Mr Vick’s business comprised a group of companies that provided services in property sales, mortgage broking, accounting and financial advice.

ASIC found that Mr Vick did not act in the best interests of clients and provide appropriate advice, gave defective statements of advice to clients that contained numerous misleading statements and omissions, had a business structure that created conflicts of interest, and that Mr Vick prioritised his interests over the clients’ interests, and accepted conflicted remuneration.

ASIC’s surveillance of Mr Vick looked at client files from his time as an authorised representative of Madison Financial Group Pty Ltd.

Mr Vick’s banning is recorded on ASIC’s publicly available Financial Advisers Register and the Banned and Disqualified register.

ASIC’s Information Sheet 182 Super switching advice – complying with your obligations (INFO 182) provides information and compliance tips for financial advisers who provide super switching advice.

Earlier this year the ATO warned that it would be targeting schemes that recommended illegal early access to super.

Generally, you can only access your super when you reach preservation age and retire or turn 65 even if you’re still working.

The ATO advises that to access your super legally, you must satisfy a condition of release.

“There are very limited circumstances where you can legally access your super early. Eligibility requirements often relate to specific expenses,” the regulator said.

“It is illegal to access your super for any reason other than when it is allowed by the superannuation law.”

Illegal early access schemes encourage people to withdraw your super before you’re legally entitled to, and the ATO warned that people should be be wary of anyone promoting early access schemes.

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