Australian regulator bans former Spectrum Wealth adviser from industry for five years

Maria Nikolova

ASIC found that Sean Philip Lewis failed to comply with financial services laws, including by failing to provide advice that was in the best interests of his clients.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) today announces that it has banned Sean Philip Lewis from providing financial services for five years. This follows an ASIC surveillance of Mr Lewis’ advice while he was an authorised representative of Spectrum Wealth Advisers.

The regulator has determined that Mr Lewis failed to comply with financial services laws, including by failing to provide advice that was in the best interests of his clients and failing to provide advice that was appropriate for his clients’ objectives.

Mr Lewis advised most of his clients to use a Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangement (LRBA) to fund the purchase of real property through a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF). Mr Lewis also gave insurance advice to all clients.

When providing this advice, Mr Lewis did not professionally and independently assess whether using an SMSF and borrowed funds to invest in property was an appropriate strategy for each of his clients. He also did not adequately investigate or offer any alternative investment strategies that may have provided greater diversification of risks.

ASIC also found that when providing insurance advice, Mr Lewis prioritised his own interests over that of his clients.

Mr Lewis has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.

Let’s recall that in April 2020, ASIC announced the imposition of permanent ban on another former representative of Spectrum Wealth Advisers – Jane Elizabeth Myers. She was an authorised representative of Spectrum Wealth between October 2013 and March 2017. ASIC determined that Ms Myers is not adequately trained or competent to provide financial services and that she is likely to contravene a financial services law in the future. Her conduct demonstrated serious incompetence and irresponsibility, the regulator said.

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