Victorian broker hit with permanent ban

ASIC has permanently banned a Victorian authorised representative for dishonest conduct, including impersonating policy holders and fabricating documents.

An investigation into Essendon’s Christopher Anthony Vassallo found he had used client confusion over the names of similar life insurance businesses to profit, finding him not of good character for the purpose of providing financial services.

Vassallo was previously an AR of the Salisbury Group and since March 2012 has been the sole director and secretary of Australian Life Insurance Services (ALIS).

An investigation found that between 1 April 2011 and 31 October 2012, Vassallo impersonated a number of Australian Life Insurance Group (ALI Group) policy holders in order to obtain policy information and cancel existing polices after the policy holders had inadvertently contacted ALIS instead of the ALI Group. ALI Group is not in any way related to ALIS.

ASIC says that Vassallo had on 15 separate occasions impersonated ALI Group policy holders when contacting ALI Group by telephone in order to obtain policy information and twice fabricated and submitted false documents to ALI Group to cancel existing policies clients held with ALI Group for the purpose of then signing them up to ALIS.

ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell says “Mr Vassallo’s conduct was a serious breach of trust that does not meet the standards required of people operating financial services.

“ASIC believes it is appropriate that he be permanently removed from the industry.”

Vassallo has indicated he will fight the ban, applying to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.