ASIC has banned Brisbane-based financial planner, Nina Katherina Williams, from providing financial services for a period of one year for failing to disclose criminal charges.
ASIC found that, when applying to be an authorised representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd (Infocus), Ms Williams did not disclose that she had been charged with fraud and stealing under the Queensland Criminal Code.
During the application process, Ms Williams was required to disclose whether she was aware of any current court action against her or had ever been the subject of any enquiry in relation to her professional conduct or character. Ms Williams answered “No” to these questions in both licensee and professional indemnity insurance application forms.
ASIC found that Ms Williams acted with a lack of care and professionalism in relation to these disclosures.
By failing to disclose this information to Infocus and the professional indemnity insurer, Ms Williams prevented her licensee from making a fully informed decision about her suitability as an authorised representative. Furthermore, her failure to disclose this information could have resulted in the avoidance of the insurance contract by the insurer, which means her clients may not have received compensation in the event of a claim or a dispute.
The banning of Ms Williams 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.
Ms Williams has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.