ASIC order over aqua agriculture investment scheme

ASIC order over aqua agriculture investment scheme
ASIC order over aqua agriculture investment scheme

ASIC has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from Mr Rankothge Bandula (Ben) Jayaweera. The EU permanently prevents Mr Jayaweera from providing financial product advice to any retail client. 

Mr Jayaweera is a director and authorised representative of Growth Plus Financial Group Pty Ltd (Growth Plus) in Brisbane, Queensland.

Mr Jayaweera recommended that clients invest in an unregistered aqua agriculture investment scheme, which was operated by Growth Plus, without reasonably considering the clients' goals and financial situation. The recommended investments were not consistent with the clients' risk profile and exposed the clients' superannuation benefits to inappropriate levels of risk.

ASIC had concerns that Mr Jayaweera may have:

  • Act in the best interests of clients in relation to personal advice;
  • Ensure the advice provided to clients was appropriate; and
  • Ensure that when providing advice, he prioritised his clients' interests before his own or that of Growth Plus.

Under the EU, Mr Jayaweera will permanently cease to provide financial product advice to retail clients. Additionally, he will not be involved in any capacity in the provision of financial product advice to retail clients.

Download the EU here.

Background

ASIC's  review of advice provided by Mr Jayaweera was commenced after the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited notified ASIC of the non-payment by Growth Plus of a determination relating to advice provided by Mr Jayaweera. 

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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