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ASIC has permanently banned a former Victorian financial adviser from providing financial services for engaging in misconduct.
ASIC has permanently banned former financial adviser Robert Shane Michael of Bentleigh, Victoria, from providing financial services for engaging in misconduct which included dishonestly borrowing money from his clients’ SMSF accounts and using them for his own personal expenditure.
Mr Michael was an authorised representative of Marigold Falconer International and Allied Financial Solutions through his business RM Wealth Management, from August 2009 to July 2017.
ASIC’s investigation found that between April 2012 and September 2018, Mr Michael had engaged in dishonest and misleading and deceptive conduct by procuring loans from four of his clients’ SMSF accounts totalling $204,000. The loans were used for his own personal expenditure which included staving off bankruptcy, paying private school fees, gambling and general expenses.
The watchdog also found that Mr Michael committed a number of other offences, including that he failed to disclose commissions on financial investments that he recommended and implemented on behalf of clients; recommended financial investments without disclosing that a conflict of interest existed; failed to prioritise his clients’ interests ahead of his own; failed to provide clients with statements of advice, product disclosure statements and fee disclosure statements; and engaged in unlicensed financial advice beyond the cessation of his authorisation as a financial adviser.
On 26 July 2019, ASIC found that Mr Michael had breached financial services laws and was not of good fame and character.
Mr Michael has a right to lodge an application for review with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
"ASIC expects financial advisers to comply with the law and adhere to ethical standards when providing financial product advice to consumers.
"Financial advisers have an obligation to provide clients with a statement of advice (where one is required) before implementing the advice on their behalf. They are required to keep proper records," ASIC said.