The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned a Wagga Wagga-based financial planner from providing financial services for five years, following an investigation into her superannuation and insurance advice.
ASIC found that Kimberley Holgate engaged in misleading conduct that was not in her clients’ best interests while she was an authorised representative of Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited (CFPL) from January 2014 to October 2015.
The regulator’s investigation found that Holgate:
- Copied clients’ signatures from existing documents into new documents, which was likely to mislead;
- Failed to prioritise her clients’ interests by advising them to acquire products which entitled her, her employer and its related entities to financial benefit;
- Did not act in her clients’ best interest by advising them to replace their existing insurance policies with CommInsure’s personal insurance;
- Did not act in her clients’ best interests by advising their rollover their existing super to a new product of Colonial First State’s, a related entity of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
ASIC determined that Holgate’s super advice did not result in any improvement to her clients’ current financial position.
They also found that by cancelling clients’ existing insurance cover before the replacement cover was approved, Holgate’s actions left some clients without any insurance cover either at all or for a period of time and caused some to have to pay increased premiums and fees.
The banning of Holgate was part of ASIC’s Wealth Management Project, which seeks to improve the standards of major financial advice providers.
Holgate had the right to appeal ASIC’s decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review.