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15-178MR ASIC bans life insurance financial adviser for 4 years
ASIC has banned Mr Brian Farber, a life insurance financial adviser and former authorised representative of Risk Advice Specialists Pty Ltd, from providing financial services for four years.
ASIC's action was a response to information it received from the licensee concerning advice provided in relation to life insurance and insurance contracts by Mr Farber.
ASIC found Mr Farber was not adequately trained or competent to provide a financial service and that he had failed to comply with the financial services laws.
In particular, it was found that in a number of instances Mr Farber:
- failed to act in his clients' best interests in the course of providing financial product advice.
- engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in relation to backdating a number of Statements of Advice (SOA).
- failed to provide SOA to clients within the required timeframes.
- relied excessively on template SOA's containing prepopulated information and failed to adequately disclose information regarding product replacement.
ASIC Deputy Chairman, Peter Kell, said 'Consumers should be confident that their financial adviser is acting in their best interest. The business model of simply 'selling' life insurance without complying with the legal and regulatory obligations will not be tolerated by ASIC and advisers who do so will be removed from the industry.'
Mr Farber was, in the period 23 December 2011 to 31 May 2015, an authorised representative of Risk Advice Specialists Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Macquarie Group Limited.
Risk Advice Specialists Pty Ltd has advised ASIC that it has ceased to trade and has commenced action to cancel its Australian Financial Services Licence.
Mr Farber has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.
In late 2014, ASIC reviewed the life insurance industry (refer: 14-263MR).The review, along with ASIC follow-up investigations and ongoing enforcement and regulatory action, found that industry standards need to improve and that high up-front commissions adversely impact on the quality of advice.