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ASIC bans ‘unfit’ director over contract referrals

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has permanently banned Landlord Protection Group director Tracey Joanne Burnell after investigating her role arranging insurance contracts.

The regulator says Ms Burnell, of Victoria, is not a fit and proper person to provide financial services and is not of good fame or character.

It says Ms Burnell and Landlord Protection & Collection (LP&C) were permitted to refer clients to brokers to obtain landlord insurance.

But she went beyond being a “mere referrer” and invoiced clients for premiums using LP&C stationery, and in some cases inflated the payment amount.

Payments were made to an LP&C bank account and Ms Burnell “on occasions” failed to pass on the premiums to brokers. The investigation considered conduct from 2014 to this year.

In May 2011 ASIC banned Ms Burnell for three years for providing financial services on behalf of Protection & Collection when unauthorised. In August 2014 she was convicted for falsely pretending to be a lawyer during debt collection activities.

“When people engage in financial services when unlicensed or engage in misleading and deceptive conduct, ASIC will ensure they are excluded from providing such services in the future,” ASIC Acting Chairman Peter Kell said.

Ms Burnell can seek a review of the decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

“ASIC’s investigation concerning Ms Burnell is ongoing,” the regulator says.