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16-004MR ASIC bans former ANZ bank adviser for ten years
Following an investigation, ASIC has banned Mr Ben Cheung of Epping, NSW, from providing financial services for ten years.
Mr Cheung was an authorised representative of Australia New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) during the time the misconduct, for which he was banned, took place.
ASIC banned Mr Cheung after finding he contravened financial services laws.
ASIC's investigation found that between April 2013 and March 2014, Mr Cheung engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by:
- forging signatures of clients on statements of advice, investment instruction forms and an investment withdrawal form;
- creating false bank documents, namely ANZ Advisor Diary Notes; and
- creating false documents, namely Nil Advisory Service forms.
ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell said, 'Cracking down on behavior like this goes to the heart of maintaining consumer trust and confidence. The banning of Mr Cheung demonstrates ASIC's Wealth Management Project is identifying and tackling this kind of fraudulent behavior.'
Mr Cheung has appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review of ASIC's decision.
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:
(i) Working with the largest financial advice firms to address the identification and remediation of non-compliant advice.
(ii) Seeking regulatory outcomes where appropriate against Licensees and advisers. For example, as part of its Wealth Management Project ASIC has banned the following advisers from the financial services industry, in addition to Mr Cheung:
- Mark Tidbury (refer: 15-383MR)
- Amanda Ritchie (refer: 15-294MR)
- Stuart Murray Jamieson (refer:15-288MR)
- Sharnie Kent (refer: 15-286MR)
- Alfie Chong (refer: 15-259MR)
- Martin Hodgetts (refer: 15-218MR)
- Shawn Hickman (refer: 15-213MR)
- Brett O'Malley (refer: 15-121MR)
- Brian Farber (refer: 15-178MR), and
- Rebecca Locksley (refer: 15-070MR)
On 9 February 2016 Mr Cheung withdrew his application to the AAT for a review of ASIC's decision.