ASIC Bans Adelaide Financial Adviser for Five Years

ASIC has handed a five-year ban to Francesco Antonio Romano. He was a former ANZ financial adviser who claimed to have an exemplary compliance record.

August 25, 2020 | AtoZ Markets – The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned Adelaide-based financial adviser, Francesco Antonio (Tony) Romano from providing financial services. According to the press release, the regulator has also restricted the adviser from carrying on of a financial services businesses for five years.

Why did ASIC ban Francesco Antonio Romano?

The Australian regulator found that Romano failed to provide financial advice that was appropriate and in the best interests of his clients. According to ASIC, Romano also engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, thus making him unfit to provide financial services.

It said Romano did not make reasonable enquiries to obtain complete and up-to-date information about his clients. He also failed to consider his clients’ needs and objectives when giving advice. Romano also recommended that clients make no changes to their investment portfolios despite clients being invested outside the parameters of their risk profile or their SMSF’s investment strategy. This exposed his clients to having an inappropriate high growth asset allocation.

The authority also found that Romano made misleading and deceptive statements in an email to clients. In the email, he falsely claimed that prior to leaving ANZ, his files were audited and found to be exemplary.

Can Romano appeal ASIC's decision?

ASIC said Romano's ban was part of its ongoing efforts to improve standards across the financial services industry. ASIC noted that Romano had the right of appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.

Mr Romano was an authorized representative of Synchronised Business Services Pty Ltd from April 2016 to April 2018 and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited from October 2003 to March 2016.

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