Bristol Street adviser banned

A financial adviser has been hit with an ASIC ban of five years after taking a one-size-fits-all approach to financial advice.

Frazer Jon Muscat from Beenleigh in Queensland was banned after ASIC surveillance revealed that he failed to take into account clients' individual circumstances and used a templated approach while working as an authorised representative of Bristol Street Financial Services.

Muscat developed an 'insurance needs calculation template' which recommended clients apply for levels of insurance that were higher than what they actually needed.

ASIC said in many cases, his recommendations were at complete odds with his clients' current objectives and needs.

Muscat also switched clients' superannuation accounts without due investigation into their existing arrangements.

In other cases, he recommended switching to more expensive products without demonstrating why the switch would be in his clients' best interests.

Muscat focused his advice on switching insurance and super. ASIC said he failed to provide advice on debt reduction and cash flow - even when clients specifically requested that advice.

ASIC commissioner Danielle Press said: "When providing personal advice, ASIC expects financial advisers to take reasonable steps to understand their clients' individual circumstances, needs and objectives before making any recommendations."

She added that such bans come about as a result of advisers failing to consider the best interests of all clients.

"Advisers have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of their clients at all times and, because client circumstances often vary considerably, using a templated approach will not produce the most appropriate advice recommendations in all instances," Press said.

Muscat had been an authorised representative of Bristol Street Financial Services since August 2010.

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

Read more: ASICAdvisersBristol Street Financial ServicesFrazer Jon MuscatDanielle PressAdministrative Appeals TribunalBeenleigh
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