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ASIC permanently bans mortgage broker

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Reporter 4 minute read

The financial services regulator has permanently banned a Victorian-based mortgage broker and removed his Australian credit licence after it was found that he engaged in “deceptive” conduct.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned Koresh Daniel Houghton from being a mortgage broker after finding that he had engaged in “misleading, deceptive and dishonest conduct” when providing financial services.

In September 2017, ASIC found that Mr Houghton had:

  • created false documents by cutting and pasting customer signatures onto a letter nominating Mr Houghton as their adviser;
  • completed and submitted insurance application forms on behalf of clients with incorrect information;
  • failed to make reasonable enquires into clients’ relevant objectives, financial situation and needs; and
  • failed to conduct a reasonable investigation into financial products that might achieve the objectives of the clients.

ASIC also surveilled Mr Houghton and received multiple client files from his time as an authorised representative of Financial Wisdom (10 July 2013 to 21 January 2015) and cross-endorsed as an authorised representative of Commonwealth Financial Planning (9 September 2013 to 28 November 2014) and Dover Financial Advisers (22 January 2015 to 20 October 2016).

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Mr Houghton has the right to appeal ASIC’s decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

The announcement comes as the royal commission begins its public hearings into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry, which aims to “further ensure our financial system is working efficiently and effectively”.

Today, Smartline will join the big four banks, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), ING Bank, Citigroup, the Legal Aid Commission of New South Wales and the Finance Sector Union of Australia at the Owen Dixon Commonwealth Law Courts Building in Melbourne for the hearings which run until 23 March.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is reportedly appearing “on its behalf and on behalf of its associated entities” and will therefore most likely be representing Aussie Home Loans, too.

[Related: Broker banned for overstating borrower savings]

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ASIC permanently bans mortgage broker
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