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Advisers nailed over Westpoint

By Victoria Young
 — 1 minute read
The corporate watchdog has sunk its teeth into two more advisers over Westpoint-related offences.
The corporate watchdog has banned two more financial planners who funnelled clients' cash into the failed Westpoint Group.

ASIC banned Christopher Leigh Armstrong of Shepparton, Victoria, from providing financial services for eight years.

Armstrong, of Armstrong Financial Services, was an authorised representative of Bongiorno Financial Advisers.

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The watchdog's investigation found that, between April 2001 and November 2005, Armstrong recommended or facilitated investments in Westpoint products through an unlicensed entity after they had been removed from Bongiorno's approved product list.

Armstrong also carried on a financial services business without an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) and without acting as a representative of a holder of an AFSL.

ASIC also found Armstrong provided inappropriate advice to clients to invest in Westpoint products, failed to accurately disclose commission and payments on Westpoint products, made misleading statements about the security of the Westpoint products and failed to provide adequate disclosure to clients.

Armstrong's clients were situated in and around Shepparton including Kilmore, Maroopna and Deniliquin.

In a separate case, ASIC banned Jason Lowth, of The Vines in Western Australia, from providing financial services for five years.

Lowth was an authorised representative of Brighton Hall Securities between September 17, 2001 and June 14, 2004.

He worked in the Applecross office advising clients across the Perth metropolitan area.

The regulator found that, between April 2002 and December 2003, Lowth provided inappropriate advice to clients about Westpoint investments and made misleading or deceptive statements to his clients about Westpoint.

Both Lowth and Armstrong have the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

ASIC has 13 banning briefs in relation to advisers who advised on Westpoint products under consideration.

Andy Chen, formerly an authorised representative of Quantum Securities in Sydney, was banned last week.

The regulator permanently banned Centro Financial Synergy Group director Annemieke De Boer in September over Westpoint. De Boer is also facing criminal charges over stealing client funds.


 

Advisers nailed over Westpoint
The corporate watchdog has sunk its teeth into two more advisers over Westpoint-related offences.
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