ASIC takes court action to restrain SMSF property advice without licence

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ASIC is taking court action against a firm and individual who, it is alleged, were recommending clients start SMSFs to invest in property and receiving “substantial commissions” from the builders while not having a financial service licence.

ASIC announced that it had commenced proceedings against Richard Gardner and Advanced Wealth Financial Services Pty Ltd in the Supreme Court of Queensland. Mr Gardner is a credit representative and former financial adviser.

ASIC alleges that Mr Gardner and Advanced Wealth Financial Services were profiting financial services without a licence or authorisation, following an investigation.

The regulator alleges that Mr Gardner recommended clients establish SMSFs to in order to purchase a newly built investment property, that he recommended specific properties for development to clients, recommended specific developers or builders, and received “substantial commissions” from the builders or developers involved in the construction.

ASIC says that Mr Gardner and Advanced Wealth Financial Services are licenced to provide only credit services, not financial services.

ASIC is seeking orders from the Court restraining Mr Gardner and Advanced Wealth Financial Service from carrying on a financial service business unless authorised.

The matter is scheduled to be heard in the Supreme Court in Brisbane on 12 February 2019.

ASIC says its investigation continues.

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