AAT overturns ASIC ban of Perth adviser

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has set aside a decision by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to ban financial adviser Robert Hutchison from providing any financial services, the regulator said on Thursday.

Hutchison, of Western Australia, a former financial adviser and authorised representative of RI Advice Group Pty Ltd, was permanently banned from providing financial services on 11 June 2017, ASIC said.

On 7 September 2017, the AAT granted a stay of ASIC’s decision until the tribunal made its final decision.

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The AAT delivered its final decision on 18 September 2018 following Hutchison’s application for review. According to ASIC, the AAT found that Hutchison did not engage in dishonest conduct or misleading or deceptive conduct for the purposes of the Corporations Act.

While finding that Hutchison’s conduct breached his contractual obligations with RI Advice to pass on to them the money he received directly from his clients, the AAT held that the dishonesty was related to the agreement between Hutchison and RI Advice, not the financial service provided to the clients by Hutchison for the purposes of section 1041G of the Act.

ASIC said it is considering the AAT decision.

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