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Michael Sill
Michael Sill, Mentor Education

ASIC flex muscles over unlicensed advice to SMSF investors

18 May 2015
ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer
ASIC Commissioner
Greg Tanzer

ASIC has confirmed that it is seeking banning orders for
anyone providing unlicensed advice to SMSF.

The corporate regulator said that the bannings will range from 7.5 years to permanent for unlicensed advice to SMSF
investors. They have provided submissions to the
Federal Court, outlining a specific example where property
developer Craig Gore and associated Gold Coast businesses
ActiveSuper and Royale Capital raised $4.75 million from over 200 SMSF investors to establish an offshore share scheme in the US and British Virgin Islands outside of ASIC’s jurisdiction.

The announcement by ASIC has been applauded by the SMSF Owners’ Alliance who said that, “ it is good to see ASIC taking action in the courts to crack down on unlicensed advice to
self-managed superannuation funds.” The SMSF Owners’ Alliance reiterated the importance of setting up a SMSF, commenting that, “it is a serious commitment and the trustees are obliged by law to consider their investment decisions carefully and to act in the best interests of the
members of the fund.”

While ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer confirmed their hardline stance by commenting that they, “will act to ensure those who deliberately deceive investors or misuse investors’ money for their own personal benefit are brought to account.” Tanzer using the example of the
ActiveSuper and Royale Capital saga reminded SMSF investors to understand the risks
associated with do-it-yourself super and their obligations as trustees. Tanzer warned investors to, “do their homework, check who they are dealing with and remember SMSFs do not have
access to compensation arrangements in the event of theft or fraud. There can also be
significant tax penalties for those trustees of SMSFs who get it wrong.”

 

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