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15-161MR ASIC permanently bans Brisbane financial adviser
ASIC has permanently banned Mr Lee Robert Robin, of Camp Hill, Queensland from providing any financial services. ASIC found that he engaged in conduct that was misleading or deceptive whilst issuing unsecured fixed interest notes in Protect Ensure. ASIC also found he failed to comply with financial services laws.
Mr Robin has been a director of Protect Ensure Pty Ltd since 18 April 2006. Protect Ensure was placed into liquidation on 12 June 2015.
An ASIC investigation found that between July 2013 to December 2014, Mr Robin:
- behaved dishonestly by depositing clients' monies into an entity associated with the Protect Ensure group, using those funds for personal expenses and making payments toother noteholders.
- engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in failing to provide an Information Memorandum, and failed to properly disclose that client funds would be pooled with other monies in the Protect Ensure business
- failed to lodge accurate annual accounts on time, together with a corresponding auditor's report
- failed to report these significant breaches to ASIC
- failed to know the financial position of Protect Ensure
- failed to ensure Protect Ensure had adequate financial resources to provide its services and supervise its representatives
- failed to ensure Protect Ensure complied with conditions of its Australian Financial Services (AFS) Licence.
ASIC has determined that Mr Robin is not of good character, making him an unsuitable person to provide financial services. Mr Robin has not maintained the high standards expected of a provider of financial services.
'Mr Robin's wrongdoing is inconsistent with the honesty, integrity, diligence and judgement that is expected and required of those in the industry. ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell said.
'ASIC will continue to take action to remove from the industry advisers who breach community trust.'
Mr Robin has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.
Mr Robin caused a series of unsecured fixed interest notes offers to be made to approximately twenty of Protect Ensure's clients. The clients understood their funds would be invested in a high interest bearing account offered by Protect Ensure.
Mr Robin used noteholder funds for purposes that were not stated in the Information Memorandum. Mr Robin did not ensure that Protect Ensure had sufficient funds available to pay client redemptions at the date of maturity or at a time clients elected to redeem their funds.
On 15 December 2014, ASIC cancelled the AFS Licence of Protect Ensure as a result of Protect Ensure not having adequate financial resources to provide the services covered by the Licence and to carry out supervisory arrangements as required by s912A(1)(d) of the Corporations Act. (refer: 14-338MR)
ASIC's investigation is ongoing.