ASIC bans Hobart adviser for four years

ASIC has banned Hobart-based financial adviser Hannah Jennings from providing financial services, carrying on a financial services business and controlling an entity that carries on a financial services business for four years.

ASIC found that Ms Jennings failed to act in the best interests of her clients by providing advice that was inappropriate in light of her clients’ relevant personal circumstances.

ASIC reviewed advice provided by Ms Jennings which recommended clients continue with double gearing strategies despite knowing that clients struggled to service the borrowing arrangements.

In providing this advice, Ms Jennings had no regard to the clients’ relevant personal circumstances, their cash flow position or their ability to cover margin calls. Ms Jennings also failed to consider an exit strategy for her clients as well as appropriate personal insurance cover.

Additionally, ASIC found that Ms Jennings also failed to keep proper records and that she was not adequately trained or competent to provide financial services. Her lack of understanding about her legal and professional obligations as a financial adviser created additional risks to her current and future clients.

Ms Jennings’ banning took effect on 01 April 2021. Ms Jennings applied to the AAT for a review of ASIC’s decision but withdrew her application on 08 June 2021.

The banning of Ms Jennings is part of ASIC’s ongoing efforts to improve standards across the financial services industry and has been recorded on ASIC’s publicly available Financial Advisers Register and the Banned and Disqualified Persons Register.

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

Ms Jennings is the sole director and only authorised financial adviser of FF Planning Solutions Pty Ltd, previously known as Fort Financial Group Pty Ltd (Fort Financial), an authorised representative of InterPrac Financial Planning Pty Ltd since March 2017.

Ms Jennings has been a financial adviser since 2009 and has been authorised by a number of AFS licensees.

The misconduct which resulted in this banning occurred during the time she was an authorised representative of Meritum Financial Group Pty Ltd (February 2012 to February 2017) and InterPrac Financial Planning Pty Ltd.

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