Mortgage brokers not alone in copping ASIC fire

by Robin Christie25 Sep 2012

Two financial advisers have faced the wrath of ASIC, one of whom arranged the unlawful early release of approximately $1.7m of superannuation benefits.

Melbourne-based Simon Turudia has been banned from providing financial services for six years for the illegal early super release misdemeanour, which affected 35 clients between August 2010 and November 2011.

According to ASIC, Turudia established investment accounts for clients into which their superannuation benefits were paid, and subsequently withdrawn by clients when required.

He was found by the regulator to have engaged in “misleading and deceptive conduct by manipulating rollover request procedures allowing his clients early access to their superannuation savings”.

Commenting on the case, ASIC commissioner Peter Kell noted that “those who seek to promote and benefit from unlawful early release of superannuation schemes have no place in the financial services industry”.

ASIC was alerted to Mr Turudia’s conduct by AMP in January 2012, by which time AMP had revoked his status as an authorised representative.

Compliance failures

Meanwhile, Victorian financial adviser Peter Raymond Holt, of Balwyn North, has been banned from providing financial services for three years for failing to comply with numerous financial services laws.

ASIC found that Holt, who was a director and authorised representative of Holt Norman & Co Pty Ltd, and the responsible officer of Holt Norman & Co’s AFS licence, failed to:

The regulator also found that Holt failed to:

■have a reasonable basis for the advice he gave to retail clients;
■adequately disclose the costs and benefits that may be lost in switching a client’s superannuation; and
■ensure the business maintained professional indemnity insurance.
ASIC cancelled the AFS licence of Holt Norman & Co on 19 September 2012.

“Those who provide financial advice must comply with all aspects of these laws, and, if they do not, ASIC will not hesitate in removing them from the industry,” said Kell.

Both men have the right to lodge an application with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.