Wednesday, 13 September 2006 – LAWFUEL – Law News Network – The Aus…

Wednesday, 13 September 2006 – LAWFUEL – Law News Network – The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has permanently banned Mr Michael John Butt, of Launceston, Tasmania, from providing financial services. Mr Butt’s banning follows an investigation by ASIC into his conduct as the manager of the Launceston branch of GE Personal Finance Pty Ltd trading as GE Finance and Insurance (GE Finance) between June 2003 and July 2004.

GE Finance is an authorised representative of Hallmark General Insurance Company Ltd, the holder of an Australian financial services licence. ASIC found that between February 2004 and June 2004, Mr Butt conducted himself fraudulently and dishonestly in the course of his duties as an employee of GE Finance by applying cash payments made by clients for his own use. ASIC found that it had sufficient reason to believe that Mr Butt would not comply with financial services laws in the future. GE Finance referred the matter to ASIC and co-operated fully with its inquiries.

Mr Butt left GE Finance in July 2004. ‘ASIC will not hesitate to remove people from the financial services industry who engage in dishonest conduct when dealing with client funds. ASIC’s priority is to protect consumers and maintain the integrity of the financial services industry’, Deputy Executive Director of Enforcement, Mr Allen Turton said.

‘Licensees and their authorised representatives play an important role in helping ASIC by informing us at any early stage about representatives who fail to act honestly.’ Mr Butt has the right to lodge an application with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision. For further information contact: Allen Turton Deputy Executive Director, Enforcement Telephone: 02 9911 2338 Mobile: 0411 549 236 Danielle Huck ASIC Media Unit Telephone: 03 9280 3407 Mobile: 0417 540 769

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