ASIC has banned Queensland financial adviser Mark Alexander Rothnie for three years for failing to act in the best interests of his clients and for failing to provide appropriate advice.
ASIC’s decision to ban Rothnie is a result of work ASIC undertook as part of its Life Insurance Lapse Data (LILD) Project. Data provided to ASIC by life insurers led ASIC to further investigate a number of financial advisers, including Rothnie. ASIC found that he failed to properly investigate and document his clients’ relevant financial and personal circumstances. Rothnie also failed to give adequate consideration to his clients’ existing insurance products before making a recommendation to switch them, which resulted in clients being worse off.
ASIC Commissioner Danielle Press said, ‘Financial advisers are expected to understand their clients’ personal circumstances and take those circumstances into consideration when providing personal advice. When recommending that clients switch from an existing life insurance product, advisers must fully consider the risks of the switch and if it is necessary to meet the clients’ goals and objectives.
‘Advisers have a legal obligation to prioritise their clients’ interests and to comply with the best interests duty when providing personal advice. ASIC will continue to take action where advisers don’t comply with the law,’ Press said.
ASIC’s surveillance was conducted while Rothnie was an authorised representative of Australian financial services (AFS) licensee, GPS Wealth Limited.