Mr Shane Thompson, of New Gisborne, Victoria, has pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court to two charges that he forged and submitted financial planning documents for his own personal gain.
The charges, brought by ASIC, allege that between 27 December 2012 and 1 March 2013, Mr Thompson completed 22 false 'Change of Adviser' forms and submitted them to MLC Ltd in order to transfer National Australia Bank (NAB) clients to his personal financial planning client list. It was alleged that Mr Thompson forged client signatures on each form and undertook this process without clients' knowledge or authorisation so that he could receive additional financial planning remuneration from his employer, NAB.
Mr Thompson was was convicted on both charges and fined an aggregate of $1,000 with $293.30 in costs.
ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell said "Consumers should be able to have trust and confidence in their financial advisers. ASIC will continue to take action against advisers that fall short of community standards."
Mr Thompson was employed by the NAB as a financial planner during the time the alleged misconduct took place.
Mr Thompson was charged under sections 83A(1) and 83A(2) of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic). The maximum penalty for each offence under the Crimes Act 1958 at the time was ten years imprisonment. As the matter was heard summarily, the maximum sentence available for each offence was two years imprisonment.
ASIC has previously banned Mr Thompson from providing financial services and credit activities for seven years (refer: 16-022MR).
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted the matter.
Wealth Management Project
This outcome is a result of ASIC's Wealth Management Project. The Wealth Management Project was established in October 2014 with the objective of lifting standards by major financial advice providers. The Wealth Management Project focuses on the conduct of the largest financial advice firms (NAB, Westpac, CBA, ANZ, AMP and Macquarie).
ASIC's work in the Wealth Management Project covers a number of areas including:
• working with the largest financial advice firms to address the identification and remediation of non-compliant advice; and
• seeking regulatory outcomes when appropriate against licensees and advisers.
As part of its Wealth Management Project, ASIC has banned 35 advisers from the financial services industry (two advisers have current appeals before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.This article was first published by asic.gov.au