ASIC has permanently banned Mr Rommel Panganiban, of Bella Vista, New South Wales, from providing financial services after an ASIC surveillance found that he failed to act in his clients’ best interests or have a reasonable basis for advice, and that he had prioritised his own interests over that of his clients.
Mr Panganiban was an authorised representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd between 19 March 2010 and 12 September 2014.
Between 4 February 2011 and 31 July 2014, Mr Panganiban advised 49 clients who held risk insurance through their AMP superannuation fund to cease their existing AMP insurance policies and replace them with new AMP insurance policies. He did this without considering whether this was in the best interests of his clients and without advising his clients that he was able to simply transfer the insurance policies.
By ceasing and replacing the insurance policies, rather than transferring them, the full rate of commission became payable to AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd. Mr Panganiban’s remuneration was positively influenced by the upfront commissions he generated as a result of his advice.
As a result of replacing rather than transferring the clients’ policies, Mr Panganiban’s clients were exposed to unnecessary consequences including gaps in cover and changes in definitions and policy terms and they risked policy exclusions and loadings. It also unnecessarily restarted the non-disclosure period that allows insurers to avoid policies within the first three years of inception for inadvertent non-disclosure.
The repetitive nature of Mr Panganiban’s conduct, against the best interests of his clients and motivated by greed, led to a finding by ASIC that Mr Panganiban was not of good fame and character.
AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd alerted ASIC to Mr Panganiban’s behaviour on 3 October 2014, and has written to his clients offering to review their advice.
Mr Panganiban was a representative of Lionsgate Financial Group Pty Ltd from 29 September 2014 until 3 August 2016. ASIC will require both AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd and Lionsgate Financial Group Pty Ltd to notify Mr Panganiban’s clients of his banning.
Mr Panganiban has appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review of ASIC’s decision.