ASIC bans Adelaide adviser for five years

ASIC has banned Adelaide-based financial adviser Francesco Antonio (Tony) Romano from providing financial services and from being involved in the carrying on of a financial services business for five years.

ASIC found that Mr Romano failed to provide financial advice that was appropriate and in the best interests of his clients. He also engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and was found not to be a fit and proper person to provide financial services.

Mr Romano did not make reasonable enquiries to obtain complete and up-to-date information about his clients and failed to consider his clients’ needs and objectives when giving advice. Mr Romano also recommended that clients make no changes to their investment portfolios despite clients being invested outside the parameters of their risk profile or their SMSF’s investment strategy. This exposed his clients to having an inappropriate high growth asset allocation.

ASIC also found that Mr Romano made misleading and deceptive statements in an email to clients in which he falsely claimed that prior to leaving ANZ his files were audited and found to be exemplary.

The banning of Mr Romano 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 the Banned and Disqualified Persons Register.

Mr Romano has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.

ASIC’s Moneysmart website has useful information for consumers about choosing a financial adviser, how to complain about a financial adviser and what to do if their adviser is banned.

Background

Mr Romano was an authorised representative of Synchronised Business Services Pty Ltd from April 2016 to April 2018 and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited from October 2003 to March 2016.

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