ASIC cans licence, bans broker

A group of broking firms has lost its financial services licence, while ASIC has also banned a life insurance adviser for offering poor advice.

ASIC today announced it had also cancelled the financial services licenses of a group of broking firms, after they failed to lodge audited financial accounts for the last two financial years.

ACI Broking (WA), ACI Broking (Vic), Assent Insurance Services and Aurora Underwriting Agency are the affected entities.

ACI Broking provided insurance advice to the SME market, and is owned by Australian Consolidation Insurance Limited, which is currently in liquidation.

Meanwhile, last week ASIC has banned a life insurance financial adviser for three years, after an investigation found he was excessively using templated forms ignoring clients’ specific circumstances.

Lukas Zelka was formerly an authorised representative for Perth-based NEO Financial Solutions and was caught in ASIC’s ongoing investigations of the life insurance sector, following its highly critical review last year.

ASIC found Zelka’s insurance advice failed to comply with the law, and did not meet the standards expected of a financial adviser.

A review found he had not acted in clients’ best interests, by not adequately considering their circumstances or giving appropriate advice.

ASIC also found Zelka had relied excessively on template statements of advice containing prepopulated information, leading to false and misleading statements being given.

ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell says: “ASIC is focused on weeding out advisers who fail to meet industry and community expectations.

“We want to ensure that consumers seeking life insurance can be confident that their adviser will provide appropriate advice.”