ASIC has banned Hobart financial planner Matthew Geappen from providing financial services for a period of five years.
ASIC’s concerns related to Mr Geappen’s practice of advising his clients to switch from one insurance product to another which allowed him to generate commissions from insurance providers.
ASIC’s investigation found that Mr Geappen:
- failed to act in the best interests of his clients;
- failed to give advice that was appropriate;
- failed to give priority to the interests of his clients over his own interests; and
- was not adequately trained or competent to provide financial services.
Mr Geappen was an authorised representative of Financial Wisdom Limited (FWL) from 18 December 2006 to 8 December 2016. He provided financial product advice in respect of superannuation, insurance and income protection products. FWL is a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Mr Geappen has exercised his right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.
ASIC’s action was in response to information it received from the licensee, FWL, regarding concerns relating to Mr Geappen’s advice and advice processes. The banning of Mr Geappen is part of ASIC’s Wealth Management Project. The Wealth Management Project was established in October 2014 to lift the standards of major financial advice providers. The Wealth Management Project focuses on the conduct of the largest financial advice firms (NAB, Westpac, CBA, ANZ, Macquarie and AMP).
ASIC’s work in the Wealth Management Project covers a number of areas including:
- Working with the largest financial advice firms to address the identification and remediation of non-compliant advice; and
- Seeking regulatory outcomes, where appropriate, against licensees and advisers.
On 24 January 2019, a fourth dot point was added to the media release to clarify the findings of the ASIC investigation.