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16-443MR Sydney financial adviser banned for three years
ASIC has banned Ms Keira Jane Keegan, a financial adviser and former representative of Protect Ensure Pty Ltd (Protect Ensure), from providing financial services for a period of three years.
The banning results from an investigation into Ms Keegan's conduct in recommending self-managed superannuation fund clients invest in financial products issued by Protect Ensure.
Ms Keegan worked from Protect Ensure's Sydney office and acted as a representative between 12 November 2013 and 15 December 2014.
ASIC found that Ms Keegan engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct. In recommending that clients invest in financial products issued by Protect Ensure, Ms Keegan made representations that the investments were a conservative and low risk option, similar to a term deposit, and that client funds would be pooled to attract a higher interest rate.
ASIC further found the financial products Ms Keegan was recommending were, in fact, unsecured and represented a high risk investment. Consequently, partly due to Ms Keegan's conduct, clients' funds were used improperly, such as to pay Protect Ensure's business related expenses. As a result, some investors lost their invested funds entirely.
ASIC Deputy Chairman, Peter Kell said, 'ASIC will take action against financial advisers who mislead their clients. We will investigate and take action against such conduct to ensure that consumers have confidence in the financial system.'
On 15 December 2014, ASIC cancelled the AFS Licence of Protect Ensure as a result of Protect Ensure not having adequate financial resources to provide the services covered by the Licence and to carry out supervisory arrangements as required by s912A(1)(d) of the Corporations Act (refer: 14-338MR).
On 30 June 2015, ASIC permanently banned Mr Lee Robert Robin, of Camp Hill, Queensland from providing any financial services. ASIC found that he engaged in conduct that was misleading or deceptive whilst issuing unsecured fixed interest notes in Protect Ensure (refer: 15-161MR).
On 1 November, ASIC has permanently banned Mr George Karakatsanis, of Yeronga, Queensland from providing any financial services. ASIC found that he engaged in conduct that was misleading and deceptive whilst recommending clients invest in unsecured fixed interest notes in Protect Ensure. ASIC also found he failed to comply with financial services laws (refer: 16-377MR).