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Wednesday 16 September 2015

15-259MR ASIC bans former Meritum Financial Group adviser

ASIC has banned Alfie Chong, a financial adviser and former authorised representative of Meritum Financial Group Pty Ltd (Meritum), from providing financial services for five years.

An ASIC review of Mr Chong's advice and compliance record found that Mr Chong had:

  • provided inappropriate advice;
  • failed to determine clients' relevant personal circumstances or failed to conduct reasonable investigations into the subject matter of his advice;
  • engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in relation to a client signature that was copied and pasted on to an authority to proceed form;
  • provided personal advice without giving clients a statement of advice (SOA);
  • failed to provide sufficient detail about the basis on which the advice was given; and
  • arranged for clients to implement advice and transactions before providing clients with an SOA.

Mr Chong's banning will be recorded on ASIC's register of financial advisers.

Mr Chong has a right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.

Background

Mr Chong was a representative of Meritum from 16 September 2005 to 28 March 2006 and from 20 July 2007 until 9 June 2014.

ASIC reviewed a sample of Mr Chong's advice as part of a review of advice across ten licensees in relation to complex retail structured products (refer: 15-036MR). This review identified a range of conduct or disclosure concerns around the marketing and advice on these products across the licensees in the sample.

Editor's note 1:

On 18 September 2015 Mr Chong applied to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for review and a stay of ASIC's decision.

Editor's note 2:

On 12 November 2015, the AAT refused Mr Chong's stay application. The AAT is yet to set a date for the hearing in relation to Mr Chong's substantive appeal of ASIC's banning decision.

Editor's note 3:

The AAT hearing date has been set for 23 March 2016.

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Last updated: 24/03/2016 09:13