Former CEO gets three-year ban

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ASIC has continued its crack-down on financial service providers that are providing unlicensed financial advice.

The latest to be caught is Queensland-based Murray John Priestley, former CEO of the Lifestyle Group. Priestley has been banned from providing financial services for three years, after ASIC found he made misleading statements about ‘Aussie Rob Lifestyle Trader’, when in fact he did not know how the software worked.

The regulator found that Priestley did not have a proper understanding of financial services laws and that he was not competent to provide financial services.

Priestley claimed that Lifestyle Private Wealth (LPW) was a licensed financial adviser – when it wasn’t – and that an individual financial adviser was part of LPW and had the authorisations to determine the suitability of ‘Elite Investor’ for potential investors, when that was not the case.

Priestley was personally involved in the development and marketing of the product named ‘Elite Investor’, and ASIC found that he:

  • Claimed Elite Investor would provide clients with personalised trade recommendations, when the trade recommendations sent were the same for all clients, and
  • Claimed Elite Investor would provide profits in excess of 5% per month, when he had no reasonable grounds for making the representation

ASIC also found that Priestley authorised inadequate, conflicting and confusing information about Elite Investor to be given to potential investors.