The regulator has issued a public warning about a financial adviser after he copied and pasted client signatures into insurance documents.

The Financial Markets Authority released the warning after an investigation into Brian Ferguson, a registered financial adviser based in Palmerston North.

The FMA said Ferguson contravened section 34 of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 because the conduct involved was misleading or deceptive, or likely to mislead or deceive.

It found two separate incidences in which Ferguson either personally carried out or requested a member of staff to insert a client's signature on a document by creating a copy and physically taping it onto the signature box.


In one instance Ferguson had the consent of the client. In the second instance he claimed it was done with the verbal consent of the client.

The regulator said it accepted Ferguson's conduct was not intended to mislead clients purchasing the insurance policies.

But the conduct was likely to mislead the insurer who did not know of the substitution.

Liam Mason, FMA director of regulation, said Ferguson's misconduct was serious and fell significantly below the care, diligence and skill a reasonable financial adviser would exercise.

"This warning is being made public to deter both Mr Ferguson and others in the market from engaging in similar misconduct."

The misconduct took place between October 2016 and April 2018 when he was employed or contracted by insurance broker Preferred New Zealand.

The matter was referred to the FMA by Preferred NZ.

Companies Office records show Ferguson set up a new company in February under the name Total Client Solutions.