ASIC has banned Adelaide-based adviser Peter Anthony Chigwidden from providing financial services for a period of five years.
Following a review of Mr Chigwidden’s advice, ASIC found that Mr Chigwidden consistently failed to address the stated needs and objectives of his clients and, as a result, did not provide advice that was in the best interests of his clients.
Where his advice included product switching recommendations, he made those recommendations without adequate consideration of the cost impact or other consequences of that advice and failed to properly disclose the costs and consequences of the advice, leaving clients poorly informed. Crucially, the switching advice also failed to demonstrate that the recommended product(s) better met the clients’ needs or objectives than their existing product(s).
ASIC considered that Mr Chigwidden also failed in some cases, to provide statements of advice and records of advice to clients when he was required to do so and, where he did provide those advice documents, he failed to include specific information such as the fees and costs the clients may incur if they followed his advice.
The banning of Mr Chigwidden is part of ASIC’s ongoing efforts to improve standards across the financial services industry. It will be recorded on ASIC’s publicly available Financial Advisers Register, and Banned and Disqualified Persons Register.
ASIC’s MoneySmart website has useful information for consumers about financial advice, including how to complain about an adviser, and what to do if their adviser is banned.
Mr Chigwidden’s misconduct was notified to ASIC by Securitor Financial Group Ltd, a Westpac advice licensee. The banning of Mr Chigwidden was part of ASIC’s Wealth Management Project, which focuses on the conduct of Australia’s largest financial advice licensees – NAB, Westpac, CBA, ANZ, Macquarie and AMP.
As part of its Wealth Management Project, ASIC has banned 54 advisers and one director from the financial services industry. Four bannings are the subject of appeal.