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ASIC bans former major bank planner

ASIC has permanently banned a former major bank senior financial planner after an investigation found he had submitted false insurance policy proposals to the bank in order to obtain benefits for himself.

ASIC’s action to permanently ban former Westpac planner Martin Hodgetts from the financial services industry is part of ASIC’s Wealth Management Project which is targeting compliance in the four major banks, Macquarie and AMP.

ASIC found Mr Hodgetts, whose job included sourcing and submitting personal insurance business for Westpac in Victoria, submitted nine false policies between May and September in 2014. The false policies contained invented details, including imaginary conversations and false signatures, and none were either requested or approved by any existing or new Westpac customer.

Further, Mr Hodgetts used the bank’s internal software system to dishonestly alter certain details of two of the false policies after they were submitted in order to avoid detection.

ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said 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.

Victoria Police have laid charges in relation to Mr Hodgetts’ conduct.

The conduct of Mr Hodgetts, who worked for the bank between August 2010 and September 2014, was reported to ASIC. Mr Hodgetts has repaid the commissions he received from the nine false policies.

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