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Sydney-based financial adviser, Tarandeep Aujla, has been banned from providing financial services for three years after an ASIC surveillance showed that he failed to act in his clients’ best interests.

ASIC reviewed advice provided by Mr Aujla to his clients while he was an authorised representative of Australian financial services (AFS) licensees Infocus Securities Australia and Chaucer Group.

The surveillance found Mr Aujla did not obtain adequate information from clients about their personal circumstances including financial details, needs and objectives. He also recommended new insurance products to his clients without identifying or considering their existing products.

Furthermore, Mr Aujla made recommendations about the level of insurance cover based solely on client direction instead of undertaking a thorough analysis of their needs or determining the impact of the insurance premiums on their superannuation balance.

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

When providing personal financial advice, financial advisers have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of their clients. Advisers must take reasonable steps to understand and take into consideration the clients’ personal circumstances when providing personal advice, and not rely solely on client direction. ASIC expects advisers to adequately demonstrate why the advice is appropriate and why it is in their clients’ best interests.

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

Mr Aujla has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review of ASIC’s decision.

Background

Mr Aujla was an authorised representative of Infocus Securities Australia from 1 February 2013 to 5 October 2017 and the Chaucer Group from 5 October 2017.

ASIC previously banned Mr Aujla for a period of 18 months. Following an appeal by Mr Aujla, the AAT reduced the ban to the period of 19 February to 19 October 2009 and accepted an undertaking from Mr Aujla that he would not provide financial services, apply for an AFS license or apply to be an authorised representative of an AFS licensee from 20 October 2009 and 18 August 2010. After the banning period, Mr Aujla was authorised by Lifespan Financial Planning on 17January 2011.

Published by Australian Securities & Investments Commission. Reproduced with permission.