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Tuesday 6 October 2015

15-286MR ASIC bans former Commonwealth Financial Planning adviser for eight years

Following an investigation, ASIC has banned Ms Sharnie Kent of Warialda, NSW, from providing financial services for eight years.

Ms Kent was an employee representative of Commonwealth Financial Planning Ltd (CFPL) during the time the misconduct, for which she was banned, took place.

ASIC banned Ms Kent after finding she had contravened financial services laws, was involved in CFPL's contravention of financial services laws and was not adequately trained or competent to provide financial services.

ASIC's investigation found that between February 2011 and February 2014, Ms Kent:

  • did not provide a statement of advice to a client before providing a further financial service;
  • submitted insurance applications and alteration requests that contained incorrect information amounting to conduct likely to mislead and deceive;
  • wrote purported signatures of clients on insurance alteration requests and superannuation withdrawal forms amounting to conduct likely to mislead and deceive;
  • advised a share brokerage fee that was not properly payable by the client amounting to conduct likely to mislead and deceive; and
  • charged an excessive adviser fee, represented that the fee would be refunded and did not take timely steps to refund the free amounting to unconscionable conduct.

ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell said, 'ASIC is committed to raising standards of conduct and compliance in the wealth management industry and will act to remove advisers whose conduct falls short.'

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


Ms Kent is the sixth person to be banned from the financial services industry as part of ASIC's Wealth Management Project, commenced in late 2014.

Under this project, ASIC is undertaking a number of investigations and proactive risk-based surveillances, with particular focus on compliance in large financial advice businesses.

Ms Kent's banning follows ASIC accepting enforceable undertakings from two Queensland financial advisers, Reid Menkens, a former Millennium3 Financial Services Pty Ltd and AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd representative, and Leo Menkens, a former AMP representative. The pair trade as Menkens Financial Group in Brisbane, Queensland (refer 15-270MR).

In March 2015, Australian Financial Planning Solutions Pty Ltd (AFPS), an authorised representative of Charter Financial Planning Limited, an Australian financial services (AFS) licensee and subsidiary of AMP Limited, paid $10,200 in penalties after ASIC issued an infringement notice for making false or misleading representations (refer 15-052MR).

Other banning actions taken by ASIC include: Martin Hodgetts (refer 15-218MR), Shawn Hickman (refer 15-213MR), Brett O'Malley (15-121MR), Brian Farber (refer 15-178MR) and Rebecca Locksley (refer 15-070MR).

Last updated: 06/10/2015 12:00