The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has banned Wayne Blazejczyk from providing financial services for five years, saying the Perth adviser had failed to meet best interest obligations when providing advice on self-managed super funds.
Mr Blazejczyk was an authorised representative, responsible manager and director of Australian financial services licensee Ballast Financial Management since October 2003.
Established in 1996, Ballast offers accounting, financial planning and superannuation services across Australia, and has an office in Jandakot.
ASIC said Mr Blazejczyk exposed his clients to financial harm after he recommended they set up self-managed funds with low superannuation balances, despite the costs being higher than those of clients’ existing superannuation funds.
The regulator said that, for many retail clients with balances under $500,000, setting up an SMSF may not improve their position when compared to using an APRA-regulated superannuation fund.
SMSF with balances under $500,000 have lower returns after expenses and tax and will often be uncompetitive.
ASIC said Mr Blazejczyk failed to determine his clients’ relevant personal circumstances before giving advice on SMSF and did not conduct a reasonable investigation into alternative products.
“ASIC found that he had failed to prioritise his clients’ interests before his own,” the regulator said.
Mr Blazejczyk was not only the owner and beneficiary of the SMSF administration services he advised but also the investment manager of the Bateau Global Opportunities Fund, which he recommended his clients invest in.
ASIC said Mr Blazejczyk failed to disclose his interests in these entities and the associated benefits and remuneration he would receive.
“Advisers have a legal obligation to prioritise their clients’ interests and to comply with the best interests duty when providing personal advice," the regulator added.
“ASIC expects financial advisers to take reasonable steps to identify and consider their clients’ personal circumstances when providing personal advice."
Mr Blazejczyk has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to review ASIC’s decision.