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Advisers with convictions registered

It has been revealed that two insurance advisers were accepted onto the financial services register seven months after receiving court convictions in Australia.

Tuesday, September 6th 2011, 7:19AM 13 Comments

The Bay of Plenty-based advisers work for American Income Life Insurance (AIL) which "is striving to become the premier in-home life insurance sales company" in the countries it operates in.

Much of the insurance is sold through labour unions, credit unions and associations, the company says on its website.

Two of its advisers, Tone and Denis Munro, were able to register in the FSPR in New Zealand nine months after being convicted in Queensland for misleading consumers over their investment properties.

They were fined A$100,000 in the Mackay Magistrate Court.

Tone Susann Munro, 60, was convicted and fined A$60,000 and Dennis Leslie Munro, 58, was convicted and fined A$40,000 last November.

The pair sold house and land packages to investors in Mackay in 2007 and 2008, targeting residents through a display stand at a local shopping centre.

The court heard the duo deliberately misled potential buyers to make sales, including telling investors that pools and air-conditioning units were included in their building contracts when they weren't.

The Munros also falsely claimed they were licensed with the Real Estate Institute of Queensland. Real estate agent licences are issued by the Office of Fair Trading.

According to NBR the Munros are some of the top producers at AIL.

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Comments from our readers

On 6 September 2011 at 7:48 am Dave said:
RFAs do not undergo any criminal history checks, only AFAs are subject to these. I imagine that these two will not be the only ones with a shady past operating as RFAs. Maybe RFA status should have the same background checks as AFAs as we both deal with the publics hard earned money and should be of similar standards.
On 6 September 2011 at 8:36 am Fred said:
Great to see 'Regulation' attracting experienced ex-pats back from overseas.
On 6 September 2011 at 9:51 am B1 said:
This legislation will never work. This country doesnt get that over regulation just raises tax and costs with little tangible benefit to the guy on the street. Look at the RMA - like most regulations just causes a feeding frenzy in the public sector. WHAT A JOKE NZ REALLY IS. Glad I have a one way ticket out of here!
On 6 September 2011 at 9:51 am btw said:
Dave, you're wrong. All FSPs, which includes RFAs, have to undergo a criminal check. Check out the FSP website if you're not sure.
I suspect they got away with it here because they were AU convictions. Hopefully they will get prosecuted for false declaration so as to set an example.
On 6 September 2011 at 10:30 am Amused said:
Given that Kerry Buddle (mortgage broker) was able to register on the FSPR & also join a dispute resolution scheme (FSCL) without any kind of alarm bells been sounded (this despite the fact that none of the mainstream banks would deal with her) this story about these two individuals does not surprise me.

I was lead to believe that part of the initial upfront cost of advisers registering on the FSPR included a police check been done on ALL applicants regardless of them been AFA or RFA?
On 6 September 2011 at 10:33 am Broker said:
Dave you are wrong on your first point. All RFA's undergo a criminal check by by the FMA. How these turkeys were approved is anyones guess...
On 6 September 2011 at 11:05 am Dave said:
Fred, it is probably the light handed approach towards RFAs that attracted them back to NZ...
On 6 September 2011 at 11:19 am DFA - Directory of Financial Advisers said:
All FSP (AFAs and RFAs) undergo criminal history checks, but Section 54 of the FAA states :
the FMA—(i) is not aware, after making any inquiries that it considers appropriate, that the Adviser has been convicted by a court in New Zealand or elsewhere of an offence punishable by imprisonment for a term of 6 months or more; or (ii) if the FMA is so aware, is satisfied that the commission of the offence does not reflect adversely on the Adviser’s fitness to act as an authorised financial adviser.
It appears RFAs fall outside Section 54, which is interesting and not the standard that is acceptable. Agreed.
On 6 September 2011 at 11:23 am Craig Simpson (Dentice Simpson Consulting Ltd) said:
How much longer does the investing public of New Zealand have to put up with this sort of rubbish?

I would have thought criminal checks for all categories of adviser would have been mandatory especially if we are trying to raise the bar and re-gain investor confidence.

On 6 September 2011 at 2:56 pm broker said:
Ha ha, obviously AIL aren't too fussy about how they sell policies as long as they sell ah?
On 7 September 2011 at 3:52 pm Dirty Harry said:
Truly not a good look at all for our regulators, and as I type this the persons in question are still on the FSPR. Hope these crims get another $100,000 fine real soon. Now, where’s the sherrif? Seriously. Where is he?

As for the crowd they work for, that’s typical AIL really. Try googling “American Income Life Scam” and see the results!! They appear to be a legit (as in proper/real/legal etc) company though: they are a real insurance company selling real policies, but everything about them smells funny, from the constant recruitment drives promoting "…one of the most lucrative Agent compensation programs in the industry" (source to the promotion of products which for the most part simply duplicate what our ACC scheme already provides, to employing sales-hungry commission-focused types who can be churned and burned then replaced by the next wave of recruits.

If one was to do the ‘Google reference check’ on the term “Dennis Leslie Munro” the first three results are about this couple being convicted and fined. It made the Sydney Morning Herald:

But AIL were “happy with that”?

On 7 September 2011 at 5:03 pm Johnny Adviser said:
Craig Simpson- they are mandatory. Check above comments on the matter.

I was billed for a criminal check when i did my RFA registration, I damn well hope they actually did one.
On 9 September 2011 at 1:33 pm Andy said:
What a big waste of time. I am gutted - not only that the public have once again been duped into a false sense of security that will clearly NOT offer any protection (it will only give them avenues to complain in), but that the RFA image has been totally tainted by allowing these rogues in. How can I proudly claim RFA status when I am in the same protective(???) body that these clowns are in, and there is obviously nothing to stop more getting in?

On top of that, it is now obvious that the legislation is still only the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff rather than the fence at the top. It also means that there is now a strong likelihood that the legislation will be tightened further at more cost to us, all because of the ignorance or dishonesty of a very few.

When will the stupidity end and common sense prevail?

When will the FMA focus on what THE CLIENT REALLY WANTS?
Commenting is closed



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