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17-420MR ASIC permanently bans directors of Found Financial for dishonest and deceptive conduct
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has permanently banned Matthew Manson Wallis and Rochelle Roanna Manoharan from providing financial services.
Mr Wallis and Ms Manoharan are directors of Found Financial Services Pty Ltd (Found Financial), which is a former Corporate Authorised Representative of RI Advice Group Pty Ltd (RI Advice).
ASIC found that between June 2015 and December 2015, Mr Wallis and Ms Manoharan submitted insurance applications to Zurich Australia Ltd that:
- were not requested by the clients, and were made without their knowledge; and
- contained false information.
Mr Wallis and Ms Manoharan falsified the insurance applications to maximise the amount of up-front commission received by Found Financial.
The false insurance applications were for life insurance, TPD insurance, trauma and income protection insurance. Found Financial paid the monthly premiums for a short period of time to give the appearance that the policies were genuine. In each case the policies lapsed because of non-payment.
ASIC found that both Mr Wallis and Ms Manoharan's conduct was dishonest, and that they had both engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct. ASIC also found that it had reason to believe that Mr Wallis and Ms Manoharan are not of good fame or character.
Acting ASIC Chair Peter Kell said, 'People working in the financial services industry must be trusted to act with integrity. If they engage in dishonest conduct, ASIC will remove them from the industry'.
RI Advice holds an Australia financial services licence and is wholly owned by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ).
Mr Wallis and Ms Manoharan have the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.
The banning of Mr Wallis and Ms Manoharan is part of ASIC's Wealth Management Project. The Wealth Management Project was established in October 2014 to lift the standards of major financial advice providers. The Wealth Management Project focuses on the conduct of the largest financial advice firms (NAB, Westpac, CBA, ANZ, Macquarie and AMP).
ASIC's work in the Wealth Management Project covers a number of areas including:
- working with the largest financial advice firms to address the identification and remediation of non-compliant advice; and
- seeking regulatory outcomes, where appropriate, against licensees and advisers.
As part of its Wealth Management Project, ASIC has banned 39 advisers. Five adviser bannings are the subject of appeals, with a further banning stayed pending the outcome of an appeal.
ASIC's MoneySmart website has useful information for clients of advisers to help them understand what to do if their adviser has been banned.