The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has permanently banned a former AMP Financial Planning adviser from providing financial services and engaging in credit activities after finding he failed to comply with the “best interests” duty.
The corporate regulator banned David Fong from Perth, who was an authorised representative of AMP Financial Planning from January 2004 to December 2014 and a credit representative of AMP from July 2010 to December 2014, after finding he acted dishonestly while providing advice to a large number of clients on superannuation and insurance.
ASIC said it was concerned about Fong’s advice process including the way in which he narrowed the scope of the advice he provided to clients, the way in which he arranged for the completion of client paperwork and the integrity of the records he retained of the financial services he provided.
ASIC permanently banned Fong after finding that he:
- Engaged in dishonest conduct relating to client records and applications for financial products; and
- Provided advice to clients that did not comply with the best interests duty, was not appropriate and did not leave them in a better position having received the advice.
ASIC also said that because Fong’s dishonest conduct was not limited to a single event or client, it reflected a person who was fundamentally dishonest and lacked professionalism, and was not of good fame or character.
The banning formed a part of ASIC’s Wealth Management Project established in October 2014, which focuses on the conduct of the largest financial advice firms (National Australia Bank, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Macquarie, and AMP).
Deputy chair, Peter Kell said: “Consumers trust their financial advisers to act with honesty, integrity, and professionalism. Financial advisers who are dishonest and take advantage of that trust for their own commercial benefit have no place in the financial services sector”.
The investigations were ongoing. A remediation process was under way at AMP for clients who received financial advice from Fong that breached the law and suffered financial loss as a result.
Fong has a right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.