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16-153MR Queensland adviser permanently removed from the financial services industry
ASIC has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from Brian Dobinson, of Redcliffe, QLD, which permanently prevents Mr Dobinson from being involved in any capacity with the provision of financial services or products.
Mr Dobinson provided financial product advice through his related entities including Dobinson Financial, Dobinson Holdings Pty Ltd and Lighthouse Redcliffe Pty Ltd. He was an authorised representative of Total Financial Solutions Australia Limited between 1 October 2010 and 11 December 2015.
Following a surveillance, ASIC found that Mr Dobinson:
- used a 'one size fits all' advice model regardless of individual client circumstances;
- failed to properly consider and advise whether it was in the best interests of a client to switch from existing defined benefit superannuation products to accumulation superannuation products;
- advised clients to switch superannuation funds when it was not appropriate to do so;
- disclosed fees and charges in a way that made the recommended product appear cheaper than it actually was; and
- failed to demonstrate the ability, professional skills and knowledge required to competently provide financial services.
As a result, ASIC found that Mr Dobinson failed to act in his clients' best interests when providing advice.
Following the identification of these concerns, Total Financial Solutions Australia Limited implemented a remediation program for all clients who received advice from Mr Dobinson. This program is being overseen by an independent expert with the aim of ensuring any clients who were provided advice that was not in their best interests by Mr Dobinson will receive appropriate remediation including, if applicable, compensation.
ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said, 'In instances where advice is provided to consumers to switch from existing superannuation products, especially defined benefit style funds, the adviser must ensure all necessary investigation of both the existing and recommended products has been undertaken."
'ASIC will not tolerate advisers who place their interests above those of their client and provide product advice that is not appropriate to the client', Mr Kell said.
ASIC's review of advice commenced after potential systemic concerns relating to advice provided by Mr Dobinson were brought to ASIC's attention.
The remediation program undertaken by Total Financial Solutions Australia Limited is part of the work required under their additional licence conditions. (refer: 15-279MR).