ASIC bans Western Australian adviser for four years

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned Kelmscott-based financial adviser Anthony Hilsley from providing financial services for four years.

A review of Hilsley’s advice files revealed that he did not identify, or make sufficient enquiries into, his clients’ personal circumstances, properly consider his clients’ objectives and needs, and, in some cases, did not consider their existing products when providing personal advice.

The decision was taken following an ASIC surveillance of Hilsley’s activities, the company regulator found that Hilsley had failed to comply with financial services laws, including failing to provide financial advice that was in the best interests of his clients.

The investigation found that for one client, he recommended replacing superannuation and insurance products without taking the client’s pre-existing medical condition into account. As a result, a loading was added to the premium, which could have been avoided if Hilsley had considered the suitability of the client’s existing products to meet their ongoing insurance needs.

ASIC has stressed that financial advisers have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of their clients when providing personal advice. This includes taking reasonable steps to understand their clients’ personal circumstances and exploring existing financial products to ensure they are providing appropriate advice that meets their clients’ objectives.