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Queensland adviser cops seven-year ban

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A Queensland-based financial adviser has been handed a seven-year ban for providing advice that put his commissions ahead of his clients’ best interests.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced the action after its review of Timothy Shapter’s work files found lapses in the way he recommended insurance and superannuation products.

He is also accused of using a so-called “layered advice” strategy, invoicing clients with a statement of advice for superannuation and then following it up a few weeks later with an insurance advice invoice.

“This process was found to be confusing for clients and, in some cases, resulted in lost insurance or policy exclusions,” ASIC says in a statement.

“The review also found that Mr Shapter issued multiple statements of advice and provided inappropriate switching advice to generate fees for himself.”

ASIC has also cancelled the financial services licence of Smart Solutions Group, where Mr Shapter was a director and authorised representative when the alleged offences occurred.

The regulator says the advice firm failed to “adequately monitor and supervise” its authorised representatives, who were allowed to audit their own advice files.

“Individual advisers cannot audit their own advice,” ASIC says.

Mr Shapter and the firm have the right to appeal the ASIC decisions through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.