Watchdog bans financial adviser after surveillance operation

THE FINANCIAL watchdog has banned a Bundaberg financial adviser for four years, after it was found he was not acting in clients' best interests. 

ASIC has banned Bundaberg-based financial adviser Peter Goudie from providing financial services for four years.

This follows an ASIC surveillance of Mr Goudie's activities when he was an authorised representative of Risk and Investment Advisors Australia Pty Ltd and National Australia Bank-owned GWM Adviser Services Pty Ltd.

ASIC found Mr Goudie failed to comply with financial services laws including the requirement to comply with the best interests duty and to prioritise his clients' interests.

When providing personal advice, Mr Goudie did not adequately identify his clients' objectives, financial situation and needs or investigate whether the financial products he was recommending would meet their needs. Mr Goudie also failed to give a number of his clients a Statement of Advice (SOA). In all circumstances where Mr Goudie's advice was not in the best interests of his clients, it was found that he gave priority to generating fees and commissions for himself.

ASIC Commissioner, Danielle Press said, 'ASIC's decision reflects our expectation that financial advisers comply with the law and act in their client's best interests, not their own interests.

'Assessing client needs and providing a clear Statement of Advice are critical parts of the advice process. Advisers must remember that failing to provide the necessary advice documentation to clients is a serious breach of the law', Ms Press said.

The banning of Mr Goudie is part of ASIC's ongoing efforts to improve standards across the financial services industry. It will be recorded on ASIC's publicly available Financial Advisers Register and the Banned and Disqualified Persons Register.

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

ASIC's MoneySmart website has useful information for consumers about choosing a financial adviser, about how to complain about a financial adviser and about what to do if their adviser is banned