The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has made two determinations against two of its financial planner members: one for dishonest conduct in relation to insurance applications and another for cheating on a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification exam.
The FPA's Conduct Review Commission received a complaint against financial planner, Darren Tindall, for submitting an online insurance application with false material while he was at Roan Financial Group.
He was accused of engaging in an act that was misleading, deceptive, dishonest and fraudulent.
He was accused of breaching several rules of the ethics principles of the Code of Ethics of the Code of Professional Practice when he submitted an online application for life, total and permanent disability (TPD) and income protection insurances on behalf of a client when he knew the application contained false answers on the client's medical history.
Tindall also breached a rule in relation to a recommendation in a statement of advice (SOA) that the client transfer her insurance, including the insurance that had been received as a result of the first alleged breach to a new insurer, again without disclosure of the medical history.
The FPA received the complaint in August 2014 for Tindall's conduct in November and December 2013, including an email sent by him in December 2013 containing client information.
He sent an email to a former work colleague that contained a spreadsheet listing client names, dates of SOAs, funds under management, risk policy balances and revenue figures to obtain a second opinion.
"Mr Tindall did not claim the purposes of disclosure had anything to do with any of the clients' investments," the commission said in its findings.
"Rather, Mr Tindall said in his evidence to the panel that he sent the email in circumstances where the recipient had been a mentor to him. Mr Tindall said he didn't feel it was a breach of privacy because it was a mentor and mentee having a conversation via email."
However, the commission found it to be a breach as clients would not have had knowledge of nor consented to their private information being sent externally.
Tindall's sanction was yet to be determined.
The commission also found senior financial planner at National Australia Bank (NAB), Shylesh Sriranjan had breached CFP exam rules by cheating in the exam and swapping exam papers.
In his third attempt at the CFP exam in October 2015, Sriranjan was accused of swapping papers with another candidate and using that student's exam paper. A similarity report said the two candidates had answered the same questions incorrectly, while further investigation found the two candidates were at the same exam venue and one was seated behind the other.
"The probability of the similarity of results when multiplied by the probability of seven the candidates sitting at the same venue sitting behind one another makes the likelihood of these events occurring by chance very remote," the report said, adding no supervisor reported anything suspicious during the exam, leaving open the possibility the similarity occurred by chance.
The panel determined Sriranjan should be expelled from the FPA for cheating.