NSW Supreme Court bans spruiker from providing unlicensed SMSF advice

A New South Wales based property investment group has been banned from providing unlicensed self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) advice by the NSW Supreme Court.

The court’s actions were prompted by an investigation launched by the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) in November 2014 in relation to advice given to clients by Park Trent Properties Group Pty Ltd in regards to using SMSFs to purchase investment properties

The investigation found that as of June 2015, Park Trent Properties Group Pty Ltd had advised more than 860 members of the public to establish and switch funds into an SMSF.

In October, the Supreme Court found that Park Trent Properties Group Pty Ltd had provided that advice unlawfully and had been doing so for five years.

As a result, NSW Supreme Court Acting Justice Sackville issued a permanent injunction late last week against Park Trent, restraining them from providing unlicensed financial product advice to clients regarding SMSFs.

Acting Justice Sackville also ordered Park Trent to post a notice on its website outlining the orders made against it that “appropriately recognises the seriousness of Park Trent's contravention and the public interest in bringing Park Trent's conduct to the attention of the community.”

ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer said the decision by the court shows how serious lawmakers are on cracking down on spruikers.

“This outcome sends a strong message, that there are serious consequences for property spruikers who break the law by providing unlicensed financial advice,” Tanzer said.

ASIC recommends that any former clients of Park Trent Properties Group Pty Ltd seek independent legal and financial advice.

More information for clients of Park Trent Properties Group Pty Ltd can be found here.

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