Former BBY adviser cops 10-year ban

A former BBY financial adviser has been banned for 10 years, while an ex-CBA adviser pleaded guilty to forging client documents, corporate regulator ASIC said.

ASIC banned Perth-based Sergio Nicolo Belardo, a former authorised representative of stockbroking firm BBY between September 2013 to May 2015, after an investigation found he traded in clients' accounts without authorisation.

Belardo, who provided financial advice to retail clients in relation to financial products that included securities and derivatives, also traded in client accounts that was inconsistent or contrary to, the investment strategy agreed in the Statement of Advice.

ASIC commissioner Cathie Armour said: "Financial advisers are expected to act with honesty and in the interests of their clients. ASIC will take action against those who breach their clients' trust."

Belardo has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to review ASIC's decision.

Meanwhile, former Commonwealth Financial Planning financial adviser Ricky David Gillespie pleaded guilty to forging 33 client documents and is due to be sentenced next month.

ASIC's investigation between 1 January 2007 and 13 June 2009 alleged that Gillespie, a senior financial planner on the Gold Coast at the time, forged the signatures of clients on documents relating to financial product applications and a series of internal documents to meet the bank's internal audit requirements.

Separately, ASIC slapped an interim freezing order on a financial services company for operating without an AFSL.

The regulator obtained interim injunctions from the Federal Court to restrain Gallop International Group, Gallop Asset Management and Ming-Chien Wang from operating and to freeze accounts.

ASIC believes the firms and Wang are operating an unlicensed foreign exchange, metals and contracts for difference trading platform.

ASIC said it is continuing its investigation and interim orders will remain in place until further notice.

Read more: ASICCathie ArmourGallop Asset ManagementGallop International GroupMing-Chien WangRicky David GillespieSergio Nicolo Belardo
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