ASIC has banned financial adviser Lawrence Toledo from providing financial services for seven years.
ASIC found that Mr Toledo failed to act in the best interests of his clients when advising them to establish self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF) to purchase properties.
ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said, 'Financial advisers have a clear duty to act in their clients' best interests. In some cases, advice to establish an SMSF for the sole purpose of purchasing a property may not be in a client's best interests, particularly where the SMSF borrows funds to enable the purchase.'
ASIC found that Mr Toledo failed to:
- properly identify what it was that his clients wanted advice on, and to reasonably investigate what financial products would best suit their needs;
- understand what was required of him to comply with the best interests duty; and
- provide advice that was appropriate to the clients.
ASIC's surveillance of Mr Toledo looked at a number of his client files from Sentinel Private Wealth Pty Ltd (Sentinel), where he has been an authorised representative since March 2014.
The best interests duty was introduced under the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms.
Mr Toledo's banning will be recorded on ASIC's register of financial advisers.
Mr Toledo has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.
ASIC's Information Sheet 182 (INFO 182) provides information and compliance tips for financial advisers who provide super switching advice.
On 13 December 2022, Mr Toledo was permanently banned from providing financial services as a result of his criminal conviction (22-148MR). His banning has been recorded on ASIC’s banned and disqualified register.