ASIC suspends AFS license of SMSF financial adviser

asic ban

Australian regulator ASIC announced that it has banned Queensland financial adviser James Cribb from providing financial services for four years and suspended his Australian financial services (AFS) license, held by Mode AFSL Pty Ltd (Mode), for 10 weeks.

ASIC found that Mr Cribb failed to act in his clients’ best interests when providing advice on self managed superannuation funds (SMSF). ASIC found that Mr Cribb prioritsied his own interests over those of his clients by providing advice that was likely to benefit other entities related to him, including an SMSF administration business for which he was the sole director and a shareholder.

Specifically, ASIC found that Mr Cribb had failed to:

  • investigate the individual circumstances of his clients;
  • adequately investigate alternative strategies and products that may have been suitable for his clients’ objectives; and
  • prioritise his clients’ interests over his own.

Mr Cribb’s advice failures were identified in ASIC’s recent review of SMSF advice.

ASIC has also suspended Mode’s AFS license after ASIC found that Mode did not take reasonable steps to ensure that its representatives complied with financial services laws. As well as being an authorised representative, Mr Cribb was the sole keyperson and responsible manager of Mode since 20 July 2017. Mode’s AFS license will be suspended for a period of 10 weeks from 10 July 2018 or until it obtains approval for a replacement key person and responsible manager from ASIC.

Mr Cribb’s banning will be recorded on ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register.

Mr Cribb and Mode have the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.

Mr Cribb was also an authorised representative of Axis Investment Centre Pty Ltd (Axis) from 9 August 2010 to 14 August 2017.

The complete announcement can be seen here.

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ASIC suspends AFS license of SMSF financial adviser

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