Adviser, ex-Aussie rugby league international, banned for life

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A former Storm financial adviser who has represented Australia in rugby league has has been given the red card by ASIC and permanently banned from providing financial advice.

The regulator found that Walter John (Wally) Fullerton-Smith of Carrara, Queensland – a former Queensland and Australian rugby league player of the 1980s and 1990s – had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and failed to comply with financial services laws.

Fullerton-Smith was a financial adviser with Storm Financial Ltd between May 2006 and June 2009 and is currently an authorised representative with AAA Financial Intelligence Ltd, said an ASIC statement

It added that an investigation found that, between 20 November 2007 and 10 December 2010, Fullerton-Smith:

  • failed to comply with financial services laws;
  • breached the 'client/planner' relationship as the financial adviser for an elderly couple, in their 80s, by using their MLC investments as security for a margin loan taken out in the name of a trust of which he was the trustee and one of the beneficiaries while knowing they stood to lose their entire investment;
  • engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct or conduct likely to mislead or deceive when procuring the elderly couple’s units in an MLC MasterKey Unit Trust as security for the trust margin loan account. It was implied the investment would be safe. This was false and a misrepresentation of the risks; and
  • did not pass on to his elderly clients $60,051 paid to him in error by the Commonwealth Bank as a settlement under the CBA Storm Resolution Scheme.

“ASIC considers Mr Fullerton-Smith’s conduct to be very serious. He has not maintained the high standards expected of a provider of financial services in that he put his personal interests ahead of those of his clients and as a result caused them severe financial detriment,” said ASIC commissioner Peter Kell.

Fullerton-Smith has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to seek a review of ASIC’s decision.

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