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See ya: ASIC bans adviser for ripping off elderly clients

ASIC bans adviser

A financial planning adviser who took nearly $40,000 in unsubstantiated fees from elderly clients has been permanently banned.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced that Charter Financial Planning’s Brenton John Poynter has been permanently banned from providing financial services.

ASIC explained that between January 2015 and June 2016, Mr Poynter deducted $39,700 in fees from 10 clients’ investment accounts. However, those fees were for financial advice that had not been provided.

ASIC found that Mr Poynter had “personally received a benefit of $25,610” from those illicit deductions.

Additionally, ASIC revealed that Mr Poynter had advised three clients from Charter Financial Planning to deposit $26,990 into his personal bank account. Again, this sum was for financial services that he had not provided.

Mr Poynter provided financial advice about superannuation products to elderly clients.

Mr Poynter’s practice and Charter Financial Planning have refunded the fees charged to the relevant clients after an internal investigation, and Mr Poynter’s banning will be recorded on ASIC’s register.

The banned adviser has the right to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review.

His banning is the latest in ASIC’s Wealth Management Project. Established in October 2014 to lift financial advice providers’ standards, the project has so far seen 41 advisers and one director banned.

The project focuses on the standards at the major financial advice firms; Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, ANZ, Macquarie and AMP.

The capacity of older Australians to manage and make complex decisions about their finances has been in the spotlight this week, with the National Elder Abuse Conference taking place in Sydney.

Speaking at the conference, Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said there have been failures of accountability in addressing the occurrence of financial abuse.

It’s estimated that between 2 and 10 per cent of Australia’s senior population have experienced some form of elder abuse.

See ya: ASIC bans adviser for ripping off elderly clients
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