Has your financial adviser been banned?
Dealing with an adviser's misconduct
Good financial advice can help you achieve your financial goals,
but advisers don't always do the right thing by their clients. When
ASIC finds an adviser guilty of misconduct they can be banned from
providing financial advice, either for a period of time or for
life, depending on the seriousness of their actions.
Here we explain what to do if your adviser has been banned from
providing financial advice and the steps you can take to check the
advice you received is in your best interests.
Why financial advisers are
There are a number of reasons a financial adviser may be banned
from providing financial advice. This includes when the
- Fails to act in the best interests of their client
- Prioritises their own interests over their client's
- Fails to conduct ongoing reviews where the client has paid for
ongoing advice services
- Gives advice that is not appropriate for the client, leaving
the client in a worse position than before they received the
- Fails to keep proper client records
- Provides false or misleading information to clients, such as
recommending an unsuitable financial product or failing to disclose
all product fees
- Acts dishonestly and breaches client trust through fraud or
misappropriation of funds
- Engages in dishonest conduct relating to client records and
applications for financial products
What to do if your financial
adviser has been banned
Here are some things to consider if your financial adviser has
been banned from providing financial advice.
Is the adviser allowed to contact you?
If your financial adviser has been banned from providing advice,
they will no longer be legally allowed to give you advice on
financial products or services.
However, if your adviser is also your tax agent or mortgage
broker, they may still be able to give you those services if the
services are not part of ASIC's banning order. You will need to
decide whether to continue using your adviser for other financial
Your adviser can contact you to offer the services of an
alternate adviser working under the same Australian financial services (AFS)
licence, or to reassure you their advice was sound.
If they offer an alternate financial adviser you will need to
work out if you are happy with the arrangement or whether you would
prefer to find a new adviser.
If your banned adviser contacts you about providing financial
advice, ask them to stop calling you and make a complaint to ASIC. You can also
let your new adviser know, if you have one.
Find out why the adviser has been banned
If your adviser has been banned from providing financial advice
you should read ASIC's media release about the
banning to find out why the adviser has been banned. This may help
you work out whether the advice you received was appropriate.
Review the advice you've been given
If something does not look right or there are things you don't
understand in the advice provided by the banned adviser, you should
raise this with the advice firm. They can review your advice and
make sure it is okay.
If your advice has been part of a review process, you can ask
the advice firm what they found and how they plan to rectify any
If you don't have your Statement
of Advice you can request a copy from your adviser or advice
firm. If you are not happy with the company's response, contact
dispute resolution scheme.
When reviewing the advice you received, look at:
- Your situation, needs and objectives - Is
there an accurate description of your assets, liabilities, income
and expenses, your goals and does it explain your risk
- The strategy and scope - Check the adviser has
explained the advantages and disadvantages of different options and
cash flow projections.
- The products the adviser has selected - Check
how these products fit into your overall strategy.
- Investment balances - check that the initial
investment was consistent with your investment funds and that
transactions such as contributions, fees and investment returns are
in line with what you expected.
See what to look for in
finance advice for more information.
Check the ongoing advice fees you are paying
Check to see if you are paying an ongoing advice fee to the
adviser. You'll find these details in the fees section of your
Statement of Advice. You can also check your investment
transactions to see if advice fees are being deducted.
Make sure you have been getting
the advice you paid for and if you no longer wish to receive
advice from the company where your adviser was working, opt-out of
any ongoing advice fees you are paying.
Cancel any authorities you have given
When your adviser has been banned make sure you cancel any
authorities you have given them such as a power of attorney, access
to online accounts or authorities to transact on your behalf and
make sure all correspondence regarding your investments is coming
to you and not the adviser.
Unhappy with the advice you
If you are unhappy with the advice you received from the banned
adviser, you can make a complaint through the adviser's internal
dispute resolution system. The adviser's financial services guide (FSG) will tell
you how to do this.
If you are not happy with their response, you can contact the
relevant external dispute resolution scheme. The FSG will contain
details of which external dispute resolution service the adviser
belongs to. See how to complain for more details.
If your investments have left you in a worse financial position
than before you received the advice, you can ask to have your
advice reviewed. You may be entitled to a remediation payment if
it's found that the advice you were given was inappropriate for
your circumstances or you suffered a loss as a result of a criminal
act by your adviser.
Choosing a new financial
If you wish to continue getting advice from the same advice
firm, you can allow them to allocate a new adviser to you.
Just remember that you don't have to just accept this new
adviser, you can do your own research and interview the new adviser
to make sure they are the right fit for your financial needs. Use
our questions to ask a
financial adviser to quiz them.
Starting with a new advice firm
You may choose to start fresh with a new financial adviser,
someone who is from a different advice firm. To find a new adviser
see our tips on choosing an adviser.
Before you engage their services, check the adviser is licensed
to provide the type of advice you want.
Financial advisers register
If your financial adviser has been banned, don't
be afraid to ask for a review of your advice or to seek financial
advice elsewhere. Check the advice you received is appropriate for
your needs and that the recommended investments are suitable for
Last updated: 10 Nov 2017