ASIC has found that superannuation switching advice given by a Queensland adviser was not in the best interest of clients.
“ASIC has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from Brian Dobinson, of Redcliffe, QLD, which permanently prevents Mr Dobinson from being involved in any capacity with the provision of financial services or products,” said an ASIC statement.
“Potential systemic concerns” about the advice being provided by Mr Dobinson were brought to ASIC’s attention, which commenced a review.
ASIC found that Mr Dobinson had “failed to act in his clients’ best interests when providing advice”.
This included by using “a ‘one size fits all’ advice model regardless of individual client circumstances”, advising clients to switch super funds when it was not appropriate to do so and failing to “properly consider and advise whether it was in the best interests of a client to switch from existing defined benefit superannuation products to accumulation superannuation products”.
“In instances where advice is provided to consumers to switch from existing superannuation products, especially defined benefit style funds, the adviser must ensure all necessary investigation of both the existing and recommended products has been undertaken,” said ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell.
“ASIC will not tolerate advisers who place their interests above those of their client and provide product advice that is not appropriate to the client,” he said.
ASIC also found Mr Dobinson “disclosed fees and charges in a way that made the recommended product appear cheaper than it actually was” and “failed to demonstrate the ability, professional skills and knowledge required to competently provide financial services”.
Mr Dobinson was an authorised representative of Total Financial Solutions Australia Limited between 1 October 2010 and 11 December 2015. According to ASIC, after the concerns were identified the licensee “implemented a remediation program for all clients who received advice from Mr Dobinson”.
“This program is being overseen by an independent expert with the aim of ensuring any clients who were provided advice that was not in their best interests by Mr Dobinson will receive appropriate remediation including, if applicable, compensation,” said ASIC.