Former Sydney adviser banned for four years

ASIC has banned former Sydney-based financial adviser Adrian Khaw from providing financial services for four years.

This follows an ASIC surveillance of Mr Khaw’s activities when he was an authorised representative of National Australia Bank-owned Apogee Financial Planning Limited and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited.

ASIC found that Mr Khaw failed to comply with financial services laws including the requirements to prioritise his clients’ interests, to comply with the best interests duty and to provide appropriate advice.

ASIC also found that Mr Khaw was not adequately trained, or competent, to provide financial services and that he engaged in misleading conduct by backdating file notes.

A review of Mr Khaw’s advice files revealed that his clients wanted to purchase an investment property and were referred to him by an associated mortgage broking business. Despite having differing needs and circumstances, Mr Khaw advised almost all of his clients to establish a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), or use an existing SMSF, and to use Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements (LRBAs) to fund the purchase of a property.

ASIC found that Mr Khaw failed in his duty as a financial adviser to put in place a strategy that was in the client’s best interests. Mr Khaw failed to provide a professional, independent assessment of whether an SMSF, which borrowed to invest in property, was an appropriate strategy for his clients. ASIC found that Mr Khaw put his own interests ahead of the interests of his clients and that his advice exposed a number of his clients to financial harm.

ASIC Commissioner, Danielle Press said, ‘Advisers must take into account their clients’ personal circumstances, needs and financial goals to ensure that the advice they provide is appropriate. Failing to do so clearly indicates a lack of regard for the law and, most importantly, for the interests of clients’.

The banning of Mr Khaw 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 Khaw 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.

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