Adviser sent back to school by ASIC

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A Queensland-based adviser has agreed to an ASIC supervision order that will require him to complete specified courses of professional development. What did he do wrong?

According to ASIC, it has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from Cairns-based James Mousa, who is the manager of BDO Private Wealth Pty Limited and an authorised representative of Australian Financial Service Limited.

The move is a response to an ASIC investigation into advice provided by Mousa between 10 August 2007 and 23 August 2012, which led to the regulator expressing several ‘concerns’.

“ASIC was concerned that Mr Mousa did not demonstrate that he had a reasonable basis for some advice provided or that he had determined the risk tolerance of clients before providing advice,” said an ASIC statement. “The EU was offered to address ASIC’s concerns.”

According to the EU, ASIC was also concerned that Mousa:

  • Failed to adequately demonstrate that he had determined the goals and objectives of clients;
  • failed to adequately consider and investigate the existing and recommended superannuation funds of clients before providing ‘switching advice’;
  • provided deficient personal advice to clients when advising them to switch from one particular financial product to another particular financial product;
  • prior to providing personal advice to clients, failed to completely or adequately complete documentation pertinent to that advice.

He must now:

  • complete specified courses of professional development within six months; and
  • submit to a regime of supervision, audit and review of the financial services he provides to clients by an independent senior financial planner (approved by ASIC) for a period of two years.

Mousa was previously an authorised representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd and Storm Financial Ltd.

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