Australian Regulator Issues Permanent Ban

Australian Securities & Investments Commission

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

A former senior financial planner who engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct while working for National Australia Bank has been handed a lifetime ban.

Following an investigation that unearthed numerous fraudulent acts the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has permanently banned Hardik Bhimani, of Sheidow Park, South Australia, from providing financial services.

Bhimani was employed in New South Wales as a senior financial planning manager, and later a senior financial planner, with National Australia Bank (NAB) between 1 April 2011 and 4 November 2013. He worked in NAB's financial planning business, NAB Financial Planning.

The ASIC investigations found that Bhimani engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by creating and supplying NAB with 'non-standard fee forms' indicating the applicable fees payable by the clients had been waived, and then made arrangements for the clients to deposit the advice fees into his personal NAB bank.

Clients Refunded

Bhimani also charged clients excessive fees, failed to provide a client with statements of advice and engaged in repeated breaches of the standards expected of a person in his position. ASIC also found reason to believe that Bhimani was not of good fame and character.

«ASIC will continue to protect consumers by removing those who engage in misleading and deceptive conduct from the industry,» said Peter Kell, ASIC Deputy Chairman.

NAB alerted ASIC to Bhimani's conduct and fully refunded the advice fees to the affected clients.

Bhimani has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.

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