FPA member denied wrongdoing in providing insurance advice



A NSW-based adviser, who will be sanctioned by the FPA for “misleading” and “fraudulent” conduct, has denied any wrongdoing, saying he has not been given a fair hearing. 

Last week, the FPA announced that Darren Tindall was found to have engaged in “misleading, deceptive, dishonest and fraudulent conduct” to obtain life insurance for a client who was otherwise unlikely to obtain it.

Mr Tindall was an authorised representative of Orange-based Roan Financial Group at the time. The licensee yesterday declined sister publication ifa’s request for comment.

The allegations were investigated by FPA’s Conduct Review Commission (CRC), an independent body set up to ensure members adhere to the FPA’s code of ethics and professional practice.

According to the CRC’s determination, Mr Tindall has denied any wrongdoing.

The FPA alleged that on 1 November 2013, Mr Tindall made an online application in the name of his client for death and TPD insurances, and submitted incorrect answers to questions asking about the client’s medical history.

“There is no dispute that an online application was made on the afternoon of 1 November 2013. Nor is there any dispute that the application failed to disclose important parts of the client’s medical history, as questions concerning the client’s history of particular conditions were falsely answered no,” the determination stated.

“What is disputed is how the application came to be made. The client says she sat in the room with Mr Tindall whilst he made the application, watching him and conversing with him as he did so. Mr Tindall says that did not happen and that he had no knowledge as to how the application came to be made.”

Mr Tindall also submitted he was not being given a fair hearing because a particular witness – the one to initiate the complaint against him – had declined to attend a hearing.

The witness had provided a statement and other documents to the FPA, but declined to provide oral evidence on the basis of legal advice received, the CRC said.

“The unwillingness to be available at the hearing, which, in circumstances where a statement has already been made and documents provided, amounts to an unavailability to answer questions, including questions in the nature of cross-examination, is certainly unhelpful for the panel in circumstances where there are a number of contested facts,” the determination stated.

“The panel’s ability to make findings to the requisite standard of satisfaction might be hampered. The panel notes that Mr Tindall had been under the supervision of the witness and that Mr Tindall and the witness had also been in dispute on matters other than the complaint.”

A sanction against Mr Tindall is yet to be announced.

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