ASIC bans former BBY financial adviser for ten years

ASIC just informed that it has banned Sergio Nicolo Belardo, a Perth-based former financial adviser with BBY Ltd (BBY), from providing financial services for ten years.

Mr Belardo was an Authorised Representative of BBY from September 2013 to May 2015 and in that role provided advice and dealing services to BBY retail clients in relation to financial products including securities and derivatives.

The banning follows an ASIC investigation into Mr Belardo’s management of a number of BBY clients’s accounts. The clients had implemented, on Mr Belardo’s recommendation, an investment strategy which involved entering an equity position and generating income by selling ‘call’ options, whilst simultaneously buying a ‘put’ option acting as downside protection.

ASIC’s investigation found that Mr Belardo:

  • engaged in unauthorised discretionary trading on multiple client accounts;
  • engaged in trading on client accounts that was inconsistent with, or contrary to, the investment strategy agreed in the Statement of Advice, or otherwise agreed with them; and
  • provided clients with inaccurate information in relation to their accounts.

Following a hearing, an ASIC delegate found that Mr Belardo was likely to contravene a financial services law.

Mr Belardo’s banning will be recorded on ASIC’s register of financial advisers.

Cathie Armour

ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour said:

Financial advisers are expected to act with honesty and in the interests of their clients. ASIC will take action against those who breach their clients’ trust.

Mr Belardo has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.

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