Three year ban after wrongly advising withdrawal from SMSF

ASIC has banned an advisor from providing financial services for three years after finding a client was wrongly advised they could withdraw money from an SMSF and failing to prioritise the interests of the client in recommending a loan.

“ASIC has banned Mr Ramana Rao of Heathpool, South Australia, from providing financial services for three years because he was not adequately trained or competent and demonstrated a lack of professionalism, judgement and integrity when advising some of his SMSF clients,” said the ASIC announcement.

The regulator says it found that Mr Rao had advised one of his clients they could obtain financial assistance by withdrawing money from their SMSF when the withdrawal was not permitted by the SIS Act or the SMSF’s deed.

“ASIC also found that Mr Rao had failed to prioritise the interests of a client over his own by recommending that his client’s SMSF provide a loan to Mr Rao’s business when Mr Rao knew such an investment was not a sound one.”

ASIC found that in both these instances Mr Rao had not given his clients a Statement of Advice.

The ban will be recorded on ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register.

Mr Rao has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.

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