ASIC – What Are You Talking About?

On 8 June 2016, ASIC issued a media release about how it had banned Wayne Meadth for 1 year.  The banning order relates to Mr Meadth’s conduct as an ANZ financial planner. ASIC says that it found Mr Meadth to not be adequately trained or competent to provide financial services.  It appears that ANZ had entered into an arrangement with Mr Meadth’s clients whereby he was required to provide them with an annual written review about their financial position.  Mr Meadth did not do this with respect to 11 clients over a 2 year period.  It’s not clear if these were all of the clients that he had to do this for and it is also not clear whether he did absolutely nothing or did something else (for example spoke to the clients but did not give them written advice).  Mr Meadth was an employee of the ANZ from 2004 to March 2014.  ANZ reported Mr Meadth’s conduct to ASIC and I assume that this report was made in March 2014.  Mr Meadth then worked for another financial planning business from 1 September 2014 to 8 June 2016.

With respect to all of this, the following questions arise:

  • Under the Corporations Act it was ANZ’s responsibility to ensure that Mr Meadth was adequately trained and competent – what is ASIC doing about ANZ’s apparent failure to meet its obligations?
  • The media release says nothing about the quality of Mr Meadth’s work – it appears that he has failed to do something that he was required to do – how is this a competence or training issue?
  • Being banned for 1 year seems to be a very harsh outcome given the conduct at issue and some of the other outcomes that ASIC has decided upon- more generally, at the end of 1 year what will have changed – will Mr Meadth be better trained and more competent?
  • ASIC has been aware of this matter since March 2014. Mr Meadth worked as a financial planner from 1 September 2014 to 8 June 2016 – if Mr Meadth’s conduct was such that he deserved to be prevented from providing financial services for a year – how can this delay be justified?

 

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