Former ACE Insurance (ACE) risk adviser Abhinav Gupta has been slapped with a permanent ban from working in the financial services industry, with the regulator saying he was not of good fame and character.
Mr Gupta was an authorised representative of ACE between October 2013 and May 2014, operating through ACE's Combined Insurance division in Victoria. During this time, he was responsible for selling accident and sickness insurance policies to the general public.
His conduct was identified in the course of ASIC's investigation into ACE and the Combined Insurance division. ASIC's investigation into ACE is ongoing.
The investigation of Mr Gupta's conduct found that he:
issued a policy in the name of a client who never agreed to taking out the policy, nor signed the application;
used a client's bank account details on another client's policy application without authorisation; and
issued at least 12 fictional policies in the names of clients that either did not exist and/or contained numerous fictional details in the policy applications, such as false employment details and non-existent bank accounts.
Mr Gupta was not remunerated by way of salary while at Combined Insurance, but received upfront and volume bonus commissions based upon policies sold, along with incentive prizes such as electronic devices and gift vouchers.
ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said, "Mr Gupta's actions were motivated by his own potential gains. For the protection of the public, ASIC will act to ensure dishonest insurance advisers are removed from the industry."
Mr Gupta has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.