ASIC explains what justifies calling advisers ‘advisers’

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has defended the manner in which it describes “financial advisers” when dealing with banning and other penalties in its media releases. 

It gave this defence after it was directly questioned within a Parliamentary Committee over why it described a man who attempted to “artificially satisfy the minimum spread requirement for companies seeking to be admitted to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)” as a “former financial adviser”. 

NSW Liberal backbencher, Jason Falinski had asked about ASIC describing the man as a financial adviser when he “did not provide financial advice as commonly understood by investors and consumers”. 

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However, ASIC said it did so because he had been an authorised representative of a licensee. 

ASIC’s formal answer stated: 

“ASIC advances its statutory role by, among other things, taking action against misconduct to maintain trust and integrity in the financial system. For the financial advice sector, this is about ensuring consumers have trust and confidence in seeking financial advice and that those providing services to consumers are held to account for any misconduct they engage in.” 

“For ASIC, as well as focusing on poor advice, it also takes action for other misconduct by persons operating in the financial advice sector to ensure the integrity of the sector.” 

“In this particular case, ASIC took action against a person for dishonest conduct related to attempts to artificially satisfy the minimum spread requirement for companies seeking to be admitted to the ASX, which conduct interferes with the fair and orderly operation of the market and undermines its integrity.” 

“The person engaged in part of the offending in the course of, and in connection with, his role, at the time, as an authorised representative of an Australian financial services licensee, by whom he was authorised to provide advice in relation to financial products. The description ‘former financial advisor’ reflects the person’s role at the time of the offending.” 

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Fair dinkum, what a crock.
There is a well documented case now in the press where a so-called financial adviser allegedly fleeced many millions from her clients to fund her lavish lifestyle.

Even though she operated her business without an Australian Financial Services Licence ("AFSL") or hold a Proper Authority to operate under an AFSL, ASIC have failed to correct the fact that she was not a financial adviser.

That poor perception tarnishes the whole profession and ASIC should have corrected the meaning of what is a financial adviser.
Otherwise every real estate agent that promotes negative gearing can call themselves financial advisers.
Otherwise every accountant that advises a client on the benefits of a SMSF and doesn't hold a licence or a Proper Authority can be called a financial adviser.

ASIC is corrupt.

Any chance they get to promote their political ideological agenda and harm advisers or our reputations, they will do it. The number of phoney reports still defended by ASIC to this day (LIF, SMSF etc) and the above commentary prove that their arrogance has not been damaged, nor their blind bloody belligerence towards our profession.

To alter their own sickening statement of 'heads on sticks', within ASIC it is time for heads to roll.

Would ASIC be willing to refer to these individuals as "former ASIC-registered Financial Adviser(s)"? This would eliminate doubt about the role of the individual at the time of the offending (even if this role was not directly tied to offending). This would also draw a line between advisers who remain on the register and those who have been removed.

What's that ASIC? You don't want to be associated with these rogue operators? Neither do I.

Is ASIC misleading the community, by making false claims. The past is not relevant to your current situation. Perhaps ASIC still refer to Paul Keating or John Howard as "Prime Minister". ASIC is the authority to set the standard. So they should never be open to the claim of misleading the community.

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