ASIC bans Queensland financial advisor

by Maya Breen26 Feb 2015
A Queensland financial advisor has been banned from providing financial services until 2020.
ASIC has banned David Neil Wilkins of Springwood, Queensland from providing financial services for five years.
The regulator found Wilkins had engaged in misleading conduct and provided inappropriate advice.
At the time of the misconduct, Wilkins was an authorised representative of RBS Morgans Ltd, Romad Financial Services Pty Ltd and later, MDS Financial Planning Pty Ltd.
During this time, he offered his ‘Options Strategy’ to at least 152 clients.
The ‘Options Strategy’ involved Wilkins recommending to his clients that they engage in options trading based on recommendations sent by him or his company.
“Trading in options is complex, can be very risky and is not appropriate for all clients,” ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said.
“ASIC will act to remove those advisers from the industry who fail in their obligations to provide appropriate advice.”
Wilkins did not comply with financial services laws between September 2010 and May 2012, according to ASIC.
The investigation found he had engaged in conduct regarding a financial product or a financial service that was misleading or likely to mislead by representing that options trading carried little to no risk.
He had also provided inappropriate advice to clients about trading in options and failed to make appropriate inquiries about the relevant personal circumstances of those clients, the investigation revealed.
Licensees also have a responsibility to ensure appropriate controls are in place when allowing advice on options to be provided to retail clients,” Kell said.
“Further, ASIC expects licensees to conduct comprehensive reference checks prior to appointing authorised representatives to ensure they are suitably qualified and can provide appropriate advice to clients.”
Wilkins was banned on 5 September 2014 after which he appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for review. Stay of ASIC’s decision and was granted a conditional stay on 16 October 2014.

Wilkins withdrew his application in the AAT on 12 February 2015 and is banned from financial services until 8 January 2020.

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