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15-054MR ASIC bans Perth financial adviser for life
ASIC has permanently banned Lewis Fellowes, former financial adviser, from providing financial services.
Mr Fellowes of Darch, Western Australia, was banned after ASIC found he had engaged in dishonest conduct and in misleading or deceptive conduct in relation to six clients over the July 2008 to July 2010 period.
Mr Fellowes transferred more than $480,000 of client funds from their margin lending accounts into his personal account and that of his wife without the knowledge or authorisation of those clients. Mr Fellowes also transferred $1,000,000 from a client's bank account to his own.
Mr Fellowes provided financial advice from 1995 until 2009 in Gladstone, Queensland. In 2010 he moved to Perth and continued to provide financial services. Based on his conduct in relation to the six clients, ASIC found that Mr Fellowes is not of good fame and character within the meaning of section 920A(1)(d) of the Corporations Act.
'This is an example of ASIC cracking down on inappropriate behaviour by financial advisers,' ASIC Commissioner John Price said. 'ASIC will act to remove those financial advisers from the industry who engage in dishonest conduct.' Mr Fellowes has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review of ASIC’s decision.
Under section 920A of the Corporations Act ASIC may make a banning order against a person if the person has not complied with a financial services law, if ASIC has reason to believe that the person is likely to contravene a financial services law or if the person has been involved in the contravention of a financial services law by another person.
Under section 920B of the Corporations Act a banning order is to be permanent if ASIC has reason to believe that the person is not of good fame or character.
ASIC's investigation into Mr Fellowes followed a voluntary report submitted to ASIC by Patersons Securities Limited which suggested that Mr Fellowes had engaged in misconduct beginning at his former role at Tolhurst Ltd in Gladstone. Following a merger with Tolhurst in 2009, Mr Fellowes was the Branch Manager of Patersons Gladstone. He then took on the role of WA Manager of Retail Operations for Patersons when he moved to Perth in 2010. Mr Fellowes subsequently returned the funds to his former clients.