A financial adviser will never be able to practise again after he was found to be dishonestly borrowing money from clients’ superannuation funds to gamble and stave off bankruptcy.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has permanently banned Robert Shane Michael, of Bentleigh, from providing financial services.
Mr Michael was, between August, 2009 and July, 2017, an authorised representative of Marigold Falconer International and Allied Financial Solutions, through his business RM Wealth Management Pty Ltd, believed to have been based in Port Melbourne.
ASIC’s investigation found Mr Michael had engaged in “dishonest and misleading and deceptive conduct” by procuring loans to a total of $204,000 from four of his clients’ self-managed superannuation funds between April, 2012 and September last year.
The loans were used for his own personal expenditure, which included staving off bankruptcy, paying private school fees, gambling and general expenses.
ASIC also found Mr Michael:
■ Failed to disclose commissions on financial investments he recommended and implemented on behalf of clients;
■ Recommended financial investments without disclosing that a conflict of interest existed;
■ Failed to provide clients with statements of advice, product disclosure statements and fee disclosure statements; and
■ Engaged in unlicensed financial advice beyond the end of his authorisation as a financial adviser.
ASIC on July 26 found Mr Michael had breached financial services laws and was “not of good fame and character”.
Mr Michael’s banning will be recorded on ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register, which consumers can use to check the qualifications and credentials of financial advisers.
He has a right to lodge an application for review with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
According to the Australian Business Register, RM Wealth Management Pty Ltd’s ABN status was cancelled in March 2015 and ASIC lists the company as deregistered since December 2012.
By Rebecca David - Moorabbin Kingston Leader
13 August 2019