The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has charged a former adviser at NAB with forging financial planning documents.
Shane Thompson appeared before the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on 31 July on charges brought forth by ASIC. The watchdog alleged that between 27 December 2012 and 1 March 2013, the financial adviser had completed 22 false client change of adviser forms before submitting them to MLC in order to transfer NAB clients to his own personal financial planning client list.
NAB terminated Mr Thompson's employment in March 2013.
According to ASIC, Mr Thompson forged client signatures and facilitated the transfer without clients’ knowledge or authorisation. By doing so, ASIC added, Mr Thompson “could receive additional financial planning remuneration from his employer, the NAB.”
The case was adjourned for a plea hearing on 26 October this year at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court.
On 4 February 2016, ASIC banned Mr Thompson from providing financial services and credit activities for seven years after finding that he was “not a fit and proper person to . . . engage in credit activities.”
Peter Kell, ASIC deputy chair, said at the time: “ASIC's action against Mr Thompson should serve as a lesson to any financial advisers committing similarly brazen misconduct. ASIC will ban you.”
The case is the result of ASIC’s Wealth Management Project established in October 2014. It was designed to lift the standards of the major and larger banks and focuses on NAB, Westpac, CBA, ANZ, AMP and Macquarie.
So far, the project has resulted in 35 advisers being banned from the financial services industry.
[Related: Mortgage fraud case ‘reassuring’ for brokers]
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