Broker banned after faking insurance certificates

A Perth insurance broker has been permanently banned after exposing clients to potential losses of more than $40 million.

According to an ASIC investigation, John Andrew Barr, of Darlington, fabricated three insurance certificates, an insurance policy schedule and an email purporting to be from an insurer, as well as falsifying another email and making misrepresentations about the level of cover.

The absence of cover meant his clients faced a potential exposure of $40 million, with one client at risk of breaching the terms of its AFS licence.

Barr’s misconduct, which dated from May 2011 to May 2012, came to light after his employer conducted its own investigation and subsequently notified ASIC.

In banning Barr from the industry, ASIC found reason to believe that he was not of good fame or character.

ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell says the regulator will not tolerate such behaviour.

“Those who engage in misleading and deceptive conduct will be removed from the industry,” Mr Kell said.

Barr can appeal the decision.

It has been a busy year for ASIC, which has so far permanently banned 18 financial services professionals, including three from the insurance industry last month alone.