The financial services regulator has banned a former Aussie broker for allegedly providing false documents to banks and charged another with making false statements to ASIC, in two separate enforcement actions.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has permanently banned Travis Truter of Ascot Vale, Victoria, a former finance broker for Aussie Home Loans, from engaging in credit activities and providing financial services.
The regulator has taken action after finding that Mr Truter reportedly “acted in a misleading or deceptive manner” when he “knowingly provided false documents to two banks”.
The documents were reportedly submitted between June 2016 and July 2017 in support of seven home loan applications that totalled approximately $2.5 million.
Given the findings, ASIC said it found Mr Truter as being “not a fit and proper person to engage in credit activities and not of good fame and character to provide financial services” and has permanently banned him from engaging in credit activities and providing financial services.
Mr Truter’s banning has also been recorded on ASIC’s Banned and Disqualified Persons Register.
However, he has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.
Speaking of the decision, Aussie noted that Mr Truter had been terminated from the brokerage after it had identified “potential breaches of its strict code of conduct and legal, credit and compliance obligations by Mr Truter” and reported it to ASIC.
According to Aussie, its investigation found that fraudulent documents were used in customer loan applications lodged by Mr Truter and that he had worked with representatives of third-party building or construction companies in relation to certain customer loan applications.
Mr Truter’s contract was suspended in June 2017 and then terminated in late August 2017 after “serious breaches” were confirmed.
The major brokerage welcomed ASIC’s action, stating: “Aussie voluntarily reported Mr Truter to ASIC, the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA), impacted lenders and the Victorian Police. Aussie has assisted investigations by providing the results of its internal investigation and other evidence to assist in prosecution.
“Aussie continues its zero tolerance policy to any infringements and prides itself on upholding some of the most stringent compliance processes in the industry.
“As part of its governance activity, Aussie proactively and voluntarily reports any serious breaches of broker conduct to ASIC.”
Broker charged with making false statements in credit licence compliance certificates
As well as announcing the banning of Travis Truter, the regulator has also revealed that it has charged NSW broker and director of Wealth Investment Milestone Pty Ltd (WIM) with two counts of knowingly making a false statement in credit licence compliance certificates lodged with ASIC.
Guodong Liu, a Rhodes-based mortgage broker in NSW, has been charged with two counts of knowingly making a false statement in credit licence compliance certificates lodged with ASIC in relation to the Australian credit licence for WIM.
According to ASIC, Mr Liu had his lender accreditation with ANZ suspended in April 2016.
However, ASIC alleged that in January 2017 and December 2017, Mr Liu completed and submitted two credit licence annual compliance certificates to ASIC in which he falsely certified that none of WIM’s “fit and proper people” had accreditation cancelled or suspended by a lender.
The regulator is asserting that, as Mr Liu was the sole fit and proper person of WIM, this constituted a contravention of section 225(3) of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.
The matter has been adjourned to 4 February 2020, when it will be heard at the Downing Centre Local Court.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter following a referral from ASIC.
[Related: Ex-CBA employee found not guilty]
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.
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