ASIC bans three financial advisers

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned Adelaide-based financial adviser Christopher Norman Harris from providing financial services for ten years while southeast Melbourne-based financial adviser Bimaljeet Sekhon and Sydney-based financial adviser Alan Davies face a three-year ban.

ASIC’s review of advice provided by Harris found that his advice was not in the best interests of his clients and that he failed to provide statements of advice as well as appropriate fee disclosure statements. The company regulator also found that Harris had also engaged in conduct that was likely to mislead or deceive.

Examples of Harris’ advice were provided as case studies during the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

ASIC has banned southeast Melbourne-based financial adviser Bimaljeet Sekhon from providing financial services for three years.

From June 2013 to July 2017, Ms Sekhon was an authorised representative of Count Financial Limited, which was owned by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia at the time. She was an authorised representative of Politis Investment Strategies Pty Ltd between November 2017 and March 2019.

ASIC found that Sekhon failed to comply with financial services laws, including failing to provide advice that was in the best interests of her clients. ASIC also found that she was not adequately trained or competent to provide financial services.

She also failed to consider some clients’ existing insurance arrangements and the potential impact of the recommended products’ premiums on her clients’ retirement savings.

Davies did not comply with financial services laws and he was not adequately trained or competent to provide financial services.

Specifically, ASIC found that he had failed to properly investigate and document his clients’ relevant financial objectives and personal circumstances when providing life insurance advice. When recommending that his clients switch insurance products, Davies also failed to consider whether a switch was in his clients’ best interests and whether his clients could have achieved their objectives within their existing insurance products.