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Dr. Mark Sinclair
Dr. Mark Sinclair, Mentor Education

Regulators to consider national regulation on property investment advice

6 October 2013
Anthony Roberts NSW Fair Trading Minister
Anthony Roberts
NSW Fair Trading

Anthony Roberts the NSW Fair Trading Minister has made comment that the state of NSW was considering making it a requirement that people who give property investment advice to be licensed to limit the resurgence of spruikers, who he says are now targeting SMSFs.

The Minister’s comments coincide with the continuing drop in
interest rates and rising prices combined with changes to
self-managed superannuation which have seemingly ignited a resurgence in dubious style property spruikers.

A spokesperson for the Minister has indicated that, “there is currently no specific regulation in the property investment advice industry, including no requirement to hold a licence as either a real estate agent issued by NSW Fair Trading or an Australian financial services licence issued by ASIC.”

Small Business Minister Bruce Billson has stated that, “state and federal
agencies, which share the regulation of property spruikers, were examining if they were
regulated by obligations under the Australian Consumer Law” and confirmed that, “I look
forward to working with my state and territory colleagues to ensure that consumers are
adequately protected and aware of the risks associated with speculative property investments.”

State and federal regulators resolved to work on a national approach to property investment promoters and the state of Queensland has shown it support with Queensland Attorney-
General Jarrod Bleijie issuing the statement that, “as property spruikers frequently work across state boundaries, Queensland is committed to a national approach to these issues, with fair trading regulators and ASIC targeting their specific areas of responsibility.”

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission, which regulates the provision of
financial advice, has voiced its concerns about the issue but flagged there were also limits to its
current powers.

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