Former CBA planner pleads guilty to forgery

Former Commonwealth Bank (CBA) financial planner, Ricky Gillespie has pleaded guilty in the Southport Magistrates Court to one rolled-up charge alleging the forgery of 33 documents.

Gillespie provided advice as a former representative of CBA’s financial planning subsidiary, Commonwealth Financial Planning (CommFP).

ASIC alleged that between 1 January, 2007 and 13 June, 2009, Gillespie forged the signatures of a number of the bank’s clients to whom he was providing financial advice while he was a senior financial planner at the Broadbeach CBA branch on the Gold Coast.

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It is alleged he forged clients’ signatures on documents including applications for financial products and a series of internal CommFP documents. It is also alleged the purpose of the forgeries was to meet the requirements of CBA’s internal audit process.

Gillespie was charged in May last year and appeared in the Southport Magistrates Court.

CBA had issued a statement last year stating CommFP reported two breaches regarding his conduct to ASIC in 2009 and 2010.

It issued a statement today saying it had commenced a review of the advice provided to Gillespie's clients, and added compensation was paid to those who were found to have suffered financial loss as a result of his inappropriate advice or his improper conduct.

"Commonwealth Bank will not tolerate any unethical behaviour and is committed to addressing all instances of suspected misconduct or criminal activity," a CBA spokesperson said.

"Commonwealth Bank assisted ASIC throughout its investigation and fully supports the actions being taken by ASIC in relation to this matter."

In 2012, Gillespie was permanently banned by ASIC from providing any financial services.

At a mention in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 3 November, a sentencing date was set down for 12 December.

The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

In 2014, ASIC placed conditions on the Australian financial services licence (AFSL) of CommFP. ASIC said it continued to monitor the licence conditions.

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