20/09/2018 - 14:04

Ban on Perth financial adviser overturned

20/09/2018 - 14:04

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The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has today set aside a decision by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to ban Robert Hutchison from providing financial services.

Ban on Perth financial adviser overturned
Asic banned Robert Hutchison in 2017. Photo: Attila Csaszar.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has today set aside a decision by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to ban Robert Hutchison from providing financial services.

In June 2017, Asic permanently banned the former financial adviser and WAWM Investment Holdings director because of dishonest conduct relating to his time as an authorised representative of RI Advice Group.

The corporate watchdog found that, between 2011 and 2012, Mr Hutchison banked cheques he had received from his clients for advice fees directly into his personal bank account, when he was supposed to remit or report them to RI Advice.

Mr Hutchison, of Lower Chittering, also failed to record the receipt of the cheques on RI Advice’s payment system, Asic found.

“Mr Hutchison misled or deceived his clients by failing to disclose to them that they had been double charged advice fees and failed to comply with the proper process for remitting and reporting the fees,” the commission said last year.

On September 7 2017, the AAT granted a stay of Asic’s decision until the tribunal made its final decision.

This decision was delivered on Tuesday, finding that Mr Hutchison did not engage in dishonest conduct, or misleading or deceptive conduct.

AAT found that Mr Hutchison’s conduct breached his contractual obligations with RI Advice to pass on to them the money he received directly from his clients, however, it held that the dishonesty was related to the agreement between Mr Hutchison and RI Advice, not the financial service provided to clients.

Asic is considering the AAT decision.

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