Australian regulator ASIC has banned Gold Coast-based advisers, Trent Allan and Fabrizio Urrutia, from providing any financial services for five years.
The regulator found that Allan and Urrutia had not complied with financial services laws and ASIC has reason to believe that they are not adequately trained or competent to provide financial services.
They were both authorised representatives of Australian financial services licensee Financial Masterplan Pty Ltd from 24 June 2016 until 25 May 2021.
Allan and Urrutia failed to act in the best interests of their clients and prioritised their own interests over their clients’ interests."
They were also involved in the activities of Vision Wealth Group Pty Ltd (Vision Wealth), a corporate authorised representative of Financial Masterplan.
Vision Wealth established a website called Australian Super Search, which was used to attract clients by helping them find their lost super through the Australian Tax Office's (ATO) free service.
The search results were used by Allan and Urrutia to provide clients with superannuation consolidation and insurance advice, and a number of clients were signed up to an ongoing service arrangement.
Allan and Urrutia provided advice without a thorough investigation of the clients' needs and objectives. In many cases, they did not make adequate enquiries about their clients' existing superannuation and insurance products. Their advice also failed to provide appropriate reasoning for recommending the replacement of existing products.
ASIC found that, in providing this advice, Allan and Urrutia failed to act in the best interests of their clients and prioritised their own interests over their clients' interests. ASIC also found that advice documents, comparing the existing and recommended products, were materially misleading.
Allan's and Urrutia's bannings have been recorded on the Financial Advisers Register and the Banned and Disqualified Persons Register.
ASIC's Moneysmart website has useful information for consumers whose advisers have been banned.