ASIC has banned Perth-based financial adviser Lawrence O’Neill from providing financial services for four years.
This follows an ASIC surveillance of Mr O’Neill’s activities when he was an authorised representative of Godfrey Pembroke Limited, owned by National Australia Bank, and Wealthsure Financial Services Pty Ltd.
ASIC found that Mr O’Neill failed to comply with financial services laws and is not adequately trained to provide financial services.
A review of Mr O’Neill’s advice files revealed that he did not properly consider his clients’ circumstances or objectives and, in some cases, did not consider their existing products when providing personal advice. He also failed to explain why ongoing advice was required for some of his clients.
ASIC also found that Mr O’Neill failed to disclose to his clients his relevant associations and relationships with product issuers, or to clearly explain the benefits he and his licensee stood to gain if the clients proceeded with his recommendations.
ASIC expects financial advisers providing personal advice to prioritise their clients’ interests over their own and to be transparent about potential conflicts of interest so clients can make better informed decisions.
The banning of Mr O’Neill 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 O’Neill has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.