The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned a Sydney financial adviser and former representative of Brisbane-based Protect Ensure from providing financial services for three years.
It came after an investigation into Keira Jane Keegan's conduct in recommending self-managed superannuation fund clients invest in financial products issued by Protect Ensure.
While working for Protect Ensure's Sydney office as a representative between November 2013 and December 2014, ASIC found Keegan had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.
When recommending Protect Ensure products to clients, Keegan misled them into believing that the investments were a conservative and low risk option, similar to a term deposit, and that client funds would be pooled to attract a high interest rate.
ASIC also found the products recommended by Keegan were in fact unsecured and represented a high risk investment.
As a result, partly due to Keegan's conduct, clients' funds were inappropriately used, such as to pay Protect Ensure's business related expenses, due to which some investors lost their invested funds entirely.
ASIC cancelled the Australian financial services licence of Protect Ensure as it did not have adequate financial resources to provide the services covered by the licence and to carry out supervisory arrangements as required by the Corporations Act.
ASIC has also previously banned Protect Ensure's Lee Robert Robin and George Karakatsanis of Queensland.