ASIC accepts EU from Breakaway Finance Group

16 January 2018

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from Breakaway Finance Group to cancel their Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence, following surveillance by ASIC.

ASIC undertook the surveillance as it was concerned that Breakaway did not sufficiently tailor key policies and procedures to its operations, effectively deal with conflicts of interest, or implement or follow some key policies.

Under the EU, the company also agreed to write to relevant clients who they had advised over the last three years to inform them of the EU and their rights to file a complaint.

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Mark Roberts, Breakaway sole director was also under ASIC surveillance. The regulator was concerned that Roberts had failed to make reasonable inquiries into clients’ circumstances, recommended insurance cover to clients unable to afford the premiums, and failed to provide adequate product replacement disclosure.

Roberts undertook in the EU not to provide financial services for two years, which will be recorded on ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register.

He also promised not to act as a director, secretary, shareholder, employee, responsible manager or any other officer of an AFS licensee or authorised representative for two years, and to notify ASIC and complete the relevant training and education requirements before re-entering the financial services industry.

ASIC acknowledged the cooperation of both Breakaway and Roberts during the investigation.

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I wonder how having a Master of Financial Planning degree would have stopped them selling unaffordable insurance...... Somehow I don't think the new training requirements will solve these issues.

Robin of course they wont, its ok you can be a doctor and treat people with a 40 year old medical degree as hey medicine hasnt changed that much cough cough,, but to invest money, well you need to do the new course that kaplan, the FPA etc can make money out of! It must be a magic wand ethics course thrown in, anyone that attends automatically has great ethics and are perfect people.

Yep. and as a financial planner I guess I will have to do the numbers on the training. If it cost $30,000 in fees, and takes 1600 hours to complete. (200 hours per subject) this is worth about $160,000 in lost revenue. So total cost to the adviser is about $190,000 to get this better qualification. How many people will put on their "professional hat" and decide there is no financial benefit to this ???? Or how do we work out a new fee structure to cover the costs/time and stay in business????

No it won't and also while I'm thinking about it - shouldn't the managers/executives of AFSL's be made to go and do Masters in FP if they want to run AFSL's - why only the advice givers, when the policies are often set above them.

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