A former Storm Financial adviser and Australian rugby league player has been permanently banned from providing financial services.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) found Walter John (Wally) Fullerton-Smith’s conduct to be “very serious” and concluded that he had put his own interests ahead of those of his clients.

Fullerton-Smith, of Carrara, Queensland, a former Queensland and Australian rugby league player of the 1980s and 1990s, was a financial adviser with Storm Financial Ltd between May 2006 and June 2009 and is currently an authorised representative with AAA Financial Intelligence Ltd.

He played for the Saint George Dragons from 1987 to 1992 and played 12 State of Origin games for Queensland and eight tests for Australia.

An ASIC investigation found that between November 2007 and December 2010, Fullerton-Smith had failed to comply with a number of financial services laws.

Specifically, the regulator claims he breached the ‘client/planner’ relationship as the financial adviser for an elderly couple, in their 80s, by using their MLC investments as security for a margin loan taken out in the name of a trust of which he was the trustee and one of the beneficiaries while knowing they stood to lose their entire investment.

ASIC found he had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct or conduct likely to mislead or deceive when procuring the elderly couple’s units in an MLC MasterKey Unit Trust as security for the trust margin loan account.

“It was implied the investment would be safe. This was false and a misrepresentation of the risks,” said ASIC in a statement.

Fullerton-Smith also did not pass on to his elderly clients $60,051 paid to him in error by the Commonwealth Bank as a settlement under the CBA Storm Resolution Scheme.

“ASIC considers Mr Fullerton-Smith’s conduct to be very serious. He has not maintained the high standards expected of a provider of financial services in that he put his personal interests ahead of those of his clients and as a result caused them severe financial detriment,” said ASIC Commissioner Peter Kell.

Fullerton-Smith has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to seek a review of ASIC’s decision.

ASIC has been investigating a range of issues relating to the affairs of Storm Financial Limited since December 2008.