Former Spectrum Wealth adviser banned from providing financial services for five years

The Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) announced banning financial adviser Sean Philip Lewis from providing financial services for five years following surveillance of Lewis’ advice while he was an authorised representative of Spectrum Wealth Advisers.

The Australian regulator found that Lewis did not comply with financial services law as he failed to act in the best interest of his clients and his advice was not appropriate for his clients’ objectives.

Lewis was also an authorised representative of other AFS licensees including:

  • Wealth Today Pty Ltd (October 2010 to January 2012);
  • GWM Adviser Services Limited, which is owned by National Australia Bank (January 2012 to November 2012);
  • AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited (December 2012 to January 2013);
  • Chubb Insurance Australia Ltd (January 2013 to June 2013);
  • Meritum Financial Group Pty Ltd, which is owned by National Australia Bank (September 2013 to October 2013);
  • Spectrum Wealth Advisers Pty Ltd (December 2013 to June 2018);
  • Consolidated Mercantile Group Ltd (July 2019 to January 2020).

ASIC found that Lewis advised his clients to use a Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangement (LRBA) to fund the purchase of real property through a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF). In addition, Lewis also provided insurance advice to his clients.

When giving this financial advice, Lewis did not asses whether SMSF and borrowed funds to invest in property was a suitable for each of his clients. He also failed to adequately investigate or offer any alternative investment strategies that may have provided greater diversification of risks.

Moreover, Lewis’s provision of insurance advice was in his own personal interest over his clients’ as it would generate large commissions for himself, regardless of whether the recommended products were appropriate for his clients.

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