Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned former Sydney-based financial adviser for changing the result of his financial adviser exam. 

In a statement on 15 March, ASIC said it had "permanently banned Todd Karamian, of Sydney, New South Wales, from providing financial services and carrying on a financial services business after he falsified his financial adviser exam result".

ASIC found that in December 2021, Karamian altered his Financial Adviser Certificate from a fail result to a pass result and sent the altered certificate to his Licensee, Bluepoint Consulting Pty Ltd, which was then subsequently provided to ASIC.

ASIC also found that Karamian provided personal advice between 31 December 2021 to 9 September 2022 to 11 retail clients when he was not authorised to do so as he had failed the Financial Adviser exam.

The ASIC delegate found that Karamian is not competent and is not a fit and proper person to provide financial services.

The ban prevents Karamian from providing any financial service, controlling an entity that carries on a financial services business and performing any function involved in carrying on a financial services business.

Karamian has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.

Karamian's banning is recorded on ASIC's banned and disqualified register.

Since 1 January 2019, professional standards in Australia have applied to financial advisers, including the requirement to pass the Financial Advisers Exam (FA Exam).

Financial advisers were required to pass the FA Exam before 1 January 2022 to be able to continue to provide personal advice to retail clients on relevant financial products.  

Financial advisers who sat and failed the FA Exam at least twice before 1 January 2022 were granted an extension to 1 October 2022 to pass the FA Exam and were permitted to continue providing Personal Advice until 30 September 2022.

ASIC's Financial Advisers Register (FAR) lists all individuals who are authorised to provide personal advice as financial advisers. AFS licensees are responsible for updating the FAR within 30 business days following a change to a financial adviser's information, including whether the financial adviser has passed or failed the FA Exam.

ASIC identified Karamian's conduct through a proactive review of individuals who were listed as current financial advisers on the FAR despite not having passed the FA Exam by 1 January 2022 (or 1 October 2022 where the financial adviser qualified for the extension).

As a result of this proactive review, the relevant AFS licensees (or where necessary, ASIC) have corrected the authorisation status or cease dates of over 1,300 individuals, so that the FAR now provides accurate information about them to consumers.