Australian regulator ASIC has announced that it has banned financial adviser Mr Graeme Ashley Cowper, of Oatley, NSW, from providing financial services for 4 years after an investigation found he was not adequately trained or competent to provide financial services.
This is the first administrative banning decision made by ASIC’s new Financial Services and Credit Panel following a hearing before it.
Between 2007 and 2015 Mr Cowper worked as a financial adviser at National Australia Bank, AON and Tynan Mackenzie while based in Sydney. He then transferred to Ipac Securities Limited, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AMP Limited.
Mr Cowper was banned from providing financial services after the Panel found that Mr Cowper:
- had a fundamental lack of understanding of the duties and obligations imposed by the Corporations Act 2001 on providers of financial services; and
- gave advice to a number of clients over the period 2007 to 2013 that did not appear to be appropriate.
In particular, the Panel found Mr Cowper:
- recommended gearing strategies when the client could not afford it;
- recommended clients switch to a new superannuation fund but did not give sufficient detail in the Statement of Advice (“SOA”) to enable the client to decide whether or not to proceed with the advice; and
- recommended clients switch to a new superannuation fund without warning them in the SOA that the new fund was expensive compared to their old fund, or that it included insurance that did not cover the client’s pre-existing health condition which was covered in the current fund.
Mr Cowper has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.
The official announcement can be seen here.