ASIC bans ex-Spectrum director for six years

11 February 2020

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned former director of Spectrum Wealth Advisers, Mark Schroeder, from providing financial services for six years due to numerous compliance failures.

The regulator found that Schroeder who was Spectrum’s most senior manager and the person responsible for its day-to-day activities was involved in the company’s contraventions of financial services laws.

According to the ASIC, he was “likely to contravene a financial services law in future” due to his responsibility and involvement into Spectrum’s past failures as well as due to his poor understanding of the obligations of providers of financial services, particularly regarding compliance matters.

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Under his leadership. The licensee failed to audit its representatives on a regular basis and ensure that they were properly trained and competent.

Spectrum also lacked sufficient human and technological resources to meet its licence obligations, the regulator found.

“'ASIC expects that people holding a position of responsibility with an Australian financial services (AFS) licensee, particularly directors and responsible managers, understand the obligations of financial services providers and make every effort to ensure compliance,” ASIC’s commissioner, Danielle Press, said.

Spectrum ceased trading and its parent company, Freedom Insurance Group, applied to ASIC to cancel Spectrum’s AFS licence.

Schroeder is continuing to seek a review of ASIC’s decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

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used to work in the Freedom staff...use to see regular afternoons of slabs being taken up in the least they had fun while ripping off the average aussie..

This is ABSOLUTELY the right call by ASIC. As a ex-Risk BDM I dealt with him personally and Spectrum and was alarmed and appalled by his no-SOA 'general advice' approach to Advised Life Risk products. He used to sponsor and turn up to Mortgage Broker functions and spruik becoming an adviser with Spectrum and how 'easy' it was the diversify and sell Life Risk products with no advice background or training. I confronted him one day about it and he was chanting sections of the law and how his interpretation was that it all fell under general advice. I have also in the past trained new Spectrum 'advisers'.. Instead of the conversation being product specifics and features, I was teaching them what each of the types of cover was and how it would protect a client which was like teaching a brand new client.
The insurance executives all KNEW how dodgey Spectrum as an AFSL was, but it was big inflows of new business (albeit no quality) and that is all they cared about and THAT is why I am no longer in the industry. ASIC should next look at those companies who did business with Spectrum and prosecute accordingly.

Agree with ex-Risk BDM. Everybody in the business knew. ASIC knew for years. The industry never got in the way though because products got sold. No regulator, insurance company, or police officers who knew of the fraud being commited by it's advisers, ever tried seriously to stop him. They all hoped someone else would do it?

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