Adviser bannings are trending up, says ASIC

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has told a Parliamentary Committee that there has been an upward trend in the banning of financial advisers.

The regulator has told the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services that over the last three years there have been 103 financial adviser bannings, with the deputy chairman, Peter Kell saying “the trend has been upwards”.

Outlining the adviser bannings, Kell said there had been 25 in 2014-15, 37 in 2015-16 and 41 in the year to date, 2016-17.

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“Those were bannings and also leaving the industry as a result of enforceable undertakings or civil action,’ he said.

“It has been a busy area for us, and an important area for us, as we deal with those advisers who have been causing problems,” Kell said.

The ASIC deputy chairman then referenced an announcement in early June relating to a Westpac adviser.

“He was banned for five years and there was around $1.5 million in refunds provided, and there is a lot more in the pipeline,” Kell said.

He said the data indicated that ASIC had been very active in the financial adviser space and it remained a major area of focus for the regulator.

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