ASIC has banned a former Westpac and NAB financial adviser from providing financial services for five years, due to superannuation advice that in some cases “significantly” reduced clients’ superannuation savings.
ASIC announced it had banned Christopher Ramsay for failing to act in the best interest of clients and giving advice that was not appropriate. Mr Ramsay was an employee representative of Westpac from 2010 to 2015 and an authorised representative of a company wholly owned by NAB from 2015 to 2017.
“ASIC found that Mr Ramsay failed in his obligations when he provided advice to his Westpac and NAB-subsidiary GWM clients to switch their superannuation and insurance products,” said ASIC.
“In some cases he failed to make appropriate inquiries to assess whether the clients’ existing products met the clients’ needs. In other cases, ASIC found that Mr Ramsay provided misleading information to support his recommendations for clients to switch products.”
ASIC says this misleading information included “misleading fee comparison tables in advice documents which suggested the recommended fund was cheaper than the clients’ existing fund, when either this was not the case, or Mr Ramsay was not comparing similar fee structures” and “a misleading statement in an advice document which stated the client’s existing insurer did not offer income protection insurance, when it did”.
“As a consequence of Mr Ramsay’s failings, ASIC found that clients paid substantially more for some products than they had previously paid and had understood they would pay. In some cases the higher cost of products recommended significantly reduced the clients’ superannuation savings without the clients’ knowledge.”
ASIC notes that Mr Ramsay has a right of appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
The ban is part of ASIC’s Wealth Management Project.