Former Westpac adviser falsified risk policies

Former Westpac adviser falsified risk policies



A former senior Westpac adviser from Victoria has been permanently banned and had charges lain against him after it was found he filed nine false insurance policies.

An ASIC investigation found that Martin Hodgetts, a former senior financial planner, submitted nine false policies in order to “obtain benefits for himself”.

Investigations by the corporate regulator found that the policies “contained invented details, including imaginary conversations and false signatures, and none were either requested or approved by any existing or new Westpac customer”.

It was further found Mr Hodgetts used the bank’s internal software system to “dishonestly alter certain details” of two of the false policies in order to avoid detection.

“Mr Hodgetts’ misleading and deceptive conduct was driven purely by the commissions he collected which is completely contrary to the integrity required of a person in his position,” ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said.

Mr Hodgetts, who worked for the bank between August 2010 and September 2014, has repaid the commissions he received from the false policies.

The action by ASIC is part of the regulator’s wealth management project, which is targeting compliance in the four major banks, Macquarie and AMP.

Since commencing this project ASIC has banned four advisers, including a former risk specialist from Macquarie’s now defunct Risk Advice Specialist dealer group.

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