ASIC bans Hobart adviser for five years

ASIC has banned Hobart-based financial adviser David Horton from providing financial services for five years for failing to comply with financial services laws.

ASIC found that, while he was an authorised representative of Meritum Financial Group Pty Ltd (Meritum), Mr Horton failed to provide financial advice that was appropriate and in the best interests of his clients and to keep proper records. ASIC also found that Mr Horton was not competent and was not adequately trained to provide financial services.

Mr Horton provided a number of clients with inappropriate advice to double gear their investments. In providing this advice, Mr Horton had no regard to the clients’ relevant personal circumstances, their cash flow position or their ability to cover margin calls.

In 2017, Mr Horton moved from Meritum to an administrative role at FF Planning Solutions Pty Ltd (FF Planning Solutions). Mr Horton was not an authorised representative of FF Planning Solutions but he provided unlicensed advice to some clients.

The banning of Mr Horton 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 Horton 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 Horton is the director of D & M Horton Holdings Pty Ltd, previously known as Fort Financial Group Pty Ltd (Fort Financial).

Fort Financial was an authorised representative of Meritum (February 2012 to February 2017).

Fort Financial and FF Planning Solutions are involved in a common financial services business. FF Planning Solutions has been an authorised representative of InterPrac Financial Planning Pty Ltd since March 2017.

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