PATTERSON PROSECUTION - Public Warning
Former Registered Financial Adviser Warned for Facilitating Offending under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has warned a (former) registered financial adviser, Jonathan Simon Antony Branton-Casey, in relation to his professional conduct which fell short of the FMA’s expectations of a registered financial adviser under the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FA Act) and/or under the Crimes Act 1961.
Mr Branton-Casey’s conduct that was concerning to the FMA related to the activities of an unregistered individual, Garry James Patterson, who was charged under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 (FSP Act) in relation to various insurance policies between 1 July 2013 and 28 May 2015. Mr
Patterson pleaded guilty to one charge under section 12 of the FSP Act for holding out that he was in the business of providing financial services when not registered or a member of an approved dispute resolution scheme. Mr Patterson also pleaded guilty to a separate charge under section 61 of the Financial Markets Authority Act 2011.
In the FMA’s view, Mr Branton-Casey facilitated Mr Patterson’s offending by being the (former) registered financial adviser who signed and submitted insurance application forms completed by Mr Patterson for clients, in circumstances where Mr Branton-Casey had not met or advised the relevant clients and knew that Mr Patterson was not a registered financial adviser. In doing so, Mr Branton-Casey failed to exercise the care, diligence and skill expected of a reasonable financial adviser in the circumstances.
Sales and advice continues to be a key strategic priority for the FMA. The FMA is focused on ensuring that clients’ interests are properly considered and that financial services are provided in accordance with the FA Act by duly registered individuals. The FMA will take action in order to denounce and deter misconduct in relation to the provision of financial services and non-compliance with the FA Act. When considering what further action (if any) is appropriate, the FMA must also consider public interest factors when making its decisions.
In this case, the FMA is satisfied that there is a low risk of similar misconduct by Mr Branton-Casey occurring again in the future. Mr Branton-Casey was co-operative with the FMA, including by:
In these circumstances, the FMA is satisfied that public interest supports a warning rather than court action.
Having completed its investigation, the FMA has determined that issuing a public warning to Mr Branton-Casey in relation to his previous professional conduct is proportionate and appropriate in the circumstances.
Jonathan Branton-Casey has also offered, and the FMA accepted, an Enforceable Undertaking pursuant to section 46 of the Financial Markets Authority Act 2011.