The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned Spectrum Wealth Advisers’ Gurumukh Singh Mehra from providing financial services for three years after surveillance by the regulator showed he failed to act in his clients’ best interests.
ASIC said that through its surveillance of life insurance advice, it found Mehra had failed to make reasonable enquiries into his clients’ relevant circumstances, such as obtaining existing superannuation and insurance information, or adequately investigate the clients’ existing financial products prior to making insurance recommendations.
The regulator also found Mehra had failed to compare the features and costs of any existing insurance with that recommended to clients and base all judgements on the clients’ relevant circumstances.
ASIC also found that Mehra “is not competent, or adequately trained, to provide financial services”.
ASIC said Mehra’s banning will be recorded on the regulator’s Financial Adviser Register and that he has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of the decision.
ASIC said the banning was a result of its Life Insurance Lapse Data Project (LILD Project), which was established in August 2016 to make greater use of data to focus ASIC's surveillance of life insurance advice, with the aim of improving life insurance advice provided to Australian consumers.
Under the LILD Project, ASIC said it receives reports from life insurers that list the names of advisers who meet specific thresholds relating to lapsed policies. It then analyses these reports and other data to identify a group of high-risk advisers.