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ASIC bans insurance adviser for six years

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Melbourne-based adviser Ashok Sherwal has been given a six-year ban for financial misconduct, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said.

He advised clients in need of cash to replace their existing insurance and superannuation products, as well as to take out new insurance products, so that he could generate advice fees and insurance commissions.

ASIC says he used some of the fees and commissions he received to make cash payments to these clients.

“[He] failed to identify the scope of the advice being sought by his clients, did not obtain complete and accurate client information, or base his judgment on his clients’ relevant circumstances,” the regulator said.

“These failures led to his clients receiving inappropriate advice that resulted in their superannuation balances being significantly eroded.”

ASIC says he also failed to comply with the additional disclosure requirements when providing product switching advice.

“[He] prioritised his own interests above those of his clients, and he did not exercise the degree of professionalism and judgment demanded of financial advisers,” ASIC said.

“ASIC also found that [he] is not a fit and proper person due to his serious lack of professionalism and judgment.”

The regulator says the conduct that resulted in the ban relates to when Mr Sherwal was an authorised representative of Wealth & Risk Management from July 22 2015 to May 4 2016 and Dover Financial Advisers from March-October 2017.

He has appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of the ban.