An Adelaide-based financial adviser has been penalised after he went behind the back of his NAB-owned licensee to convince his clients to invest in a failing business.
ASIC has banned Adelaide financial adviser Adrian John Cassidy from providing financial services for six years, following Mr Cassidy’s dishonest behaviour.
The regulator explained that Mr Cassidy concealed from his licensee, a wholly owned subsidiary of NAB, recommendations he gave to 54 clients in 2017, which led them to invest in a start-up company called Bux.
After NAB reported Mr Cassidy’s conduct to ASIC, the regulator found that in making these recommendations, Mr Cassidy failed to act in his clients’ best interests and to provide them with a statement of advice regarding Bux.
Bux’s business ultimately failed and liquidators were appointed in October 2018.
ASIC found Mr Cassidy’s conduct had significant consequences for his clients and his licensee, and he failed to consider those consequences when he recommended clients invest in Bux.
Mr Cassidy has appealed ASIC’s decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
A hearing date is yet to be set.
According to local media, Bux went bust after garnering support and over $65 million from investors. The Perth start-up was launched in 2016 as a mobile app that allowed users to transfer money internationally via their account.
In late 2017, shareholders turned on the company, applying to have it wound up through the courts, claiming that no business progress was made, with operating losses being counted in the millions.
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business.
Maja has an extensive career as a journalist across finance, business and market intelligence. Prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja spent several years unravelling social, political and economic intricacies in Eastern Europe.