ASIC bans NSW insurance broker

21 October,, Lagos – ASIC’s latest ban is in connection with deceptive treatment of clients by a NSW insurance broker named Mr. Isaac Hakim. The Australian Securities and Exchange commission has now issued a permanent ban against Isaac Hakim, of Queens Park, New South Wales. Barring him to provide financial services.

Based on the discovery by ASIC, Mr. Hakim fraudulently and intentionally over charged clients. He solely owns the firm Leedam Pty Limited (Leedam), which was formerly known as I&S Insurance Broking Group Pty. The firm’s activities involved providing financial services to clients, in relation to general insurance products.

ASIC investigation discoveries

In the investigation conducted by the Australian regulator, it was discovered that between January 2004 and August 2013 Mr. Hakim and Leedam engaged in misleading conduct. In particularly, with relation to the fees Leedam charged its clients.

According to ASIC, Mr. Hakim was found to have developed false invoices to clients on seven occasions. The invoices overstated the insurance premium being charged to its clients, while understated the broker fee being charged by Leedam. This deceptions utilised on clients, gave them the impression that they were being charged a lower broker fee, instead of actual case.

ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell said: "ASIC is committed to raising conduct standards in the insurance industry'. We will take action to remove brokers who engage in misconduct that results in overcharging of clients."

Other malpractices include:

- Multiple times Leedam charged its clients broker fees in excess of those disclosed in its financial services guides (FSGs).
- Leedam charged clients broker fees in circumstances where it had received a commission payment from the insurer, contrary to statements in the FSGs.
- Those excess fees totalled over more than $3m.

Furthermore, ASIC estimated that for a period of about five years, Mr. Hakim and Leedam were engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct, in relation to the fees Leedam charged its clients. Now, as ASIC bans insurer for fraudulent dealings, Mr. Hakim has a right to appeal to the Administrative Appeal's Tribunal for a review of the Delegate's decision.

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