ASIC bans North Queensland financial adviser and former client adviser

Australia financial regulator ASIC has banned Mr Craig Scott Miller, formerly of Malanda in North Queensland, from providing financial services for 18 months.

Mr Miller was employed by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) as a financial planner between 2008 and 2015 to provide advice to clients of ANZ.

Mr Miller was banned following an ASIC investigation which found that during 2012 and 2014, he engaged in conduct that was likely to mislead. Specifically, he:

• signed the client’s name on an Authority to Proceed (part of a Statement of Advice;
• requested a client sign a blank Authority to Provide Information (ATPI) document (to be faxed to a superannuation fund), which was photocopied before the names of superannuation funds and other details were inserted;
• altered an ATPI document after it had been signed by the client; and
• created two versions of a diary note in relation to the same event, which were signed by Mr Miller and dated with the date of the event they recorded, when the diary notes were created some weeks after the date shown.

ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell
ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell

ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said:

Financial planners are required to meet stringent compliance standards to protect the interests of their clients and instil confidence in the broader financial advice industry. ASIC will ensure advisers who fail to meet these standards are removed from the financial services industry’.

Tough day for the regulator as it has also banned former client adviser, Mr Ryan Batros, of Melbourne, from providing financial services for 5 years. 

Mr Batros was an authorised representative with Morgans Financial Limited, a financial services licensee, between January 2012 and 29 August 2014.

The banning follows an ASIC investigation into Mr Batros’ conduct on 25 and 26 August 2014 in placing “execution only” orders on the ASX that he had received from clients to sell shares and options of Metals of Africa Limited (MTA) when he was in possession of information regarding an impending capital-raising by MTA. MTA subsequently announced the capital-raising in an announcement to the ASX on 3 September 2014.

Following a hearing, an ASIC delegate found that Mr Batros contravened a financial services law.

Mr Batros has applied to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review of ASIC’s banning order.

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ASIC bans North Queensland financial adviser and former client adviser


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