As part of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC’s) move to clean up the financial services industry, it has banned Queensland-based Breakaway Finance Group and Millenium 3 adviser, Gregory Forster, from providing financial services for five years after an investigation showed he provided inappropriate advice to clients and failed to act in their best interests.
The ASIC investigation found Forster had failed to take into account his clients’ actual circumstances when providing advice, instead obtaining limited information and making a series of assumptions about their personal circumstances.
The investigation also found Forster recommended new superannuation and insurance products to his clients without considering their existing products and services, and in many cases, those insurance products’ premiums were not affordable. Forster’s clients’ premiums were paid from their superannuation, which could potentially lead to the erosion of their balances.
The corporate regulator found Forster had significantly understated the costs associated with the implementation of his advice, particularly the costs associated with running a SMSF.
As well, it was found Forster had not complied with the requirements for a Statement of Advice, and instead of disclosing the dollar value of fees, he used percentages.