Perth accountant slapped with six-year ban

A Perth-based accountant has been banned from providing any financial services for six years, after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) found that he both contravened and was likely to again contravene a financial services law.

The regulator’s investigation into Keith Douglas Bowker focused on his conduct from November 2016 – March 2017, when he applied for and sold shares, purportedly for his clients, in two companies that later listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

ASIC came across the behaviour when looking into the provision of shareholder spread through artificial means, as some companies could seek to get around the ASX Listing Rules requirement of having 300 shareholders.

The regulator found that Bowker:

  • applied for and sold shares on behalf of other people without their knowledge and/or consent;
  • knowingly provided false information to these companies which was then provided to the ASX so that the companies could meet the ASX minimum-spread requirement for admission to the ASX official list;
  • engaged in conduct relating to a financial product that was misleading or deceptive, or was likely to mislead or deceive;
  • contravened a financial services law; and 
  • was likely to contravene a financial services law.

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I assume the Institute of Chartered Accountants has also revoked his membership but cant see anything in their communications. Maybe a good question for their President or Chairman.

I certainly hope so Paul.

This is the same fellow who was Co. Secretary of an ASX listed mining company I invested in. Shareholders found him an impenetrable block when attempting to contact the company over a period; to cut a long story short we, a minority group holding >22% of the company are pursuing justice in a Bermudan Court against an opportunistic takeover by a Chinese outfit, possibly facilitated in part by these obstructive tactics, and the misrepresentation, (alleged), by a so called independent Director.

Have you contacted the Institute btw?

Hi Tim, one of the accounting firms we work with is a Chartered firm and have asked the question. No response as yet

I see, thanks Paul. Will be interesting to see the outcome.

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