Speaking at the SPAA National Conference on 21 February 2014, ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said ASIC’s SMSF taskforce will introduce 2 new focus areas for 2014 – they include:
- One-stop shops for SMSF services – Mr Tanzer said the taskforce will appoint a small project team to explore the trend of “one-stop shops” offering a range of services to SMSFs. He said the project will “investigate the (often complex) business model structures of these operators and the risks to investors that this trend poses”. Further, he said the focus area is in response to the recent collapse of the Charterhill Group, which Mr Tanzer said “operated as a ‘one stop shop’ providing – among other services – advice to clients on establishing SMSFs, rollover of existing superannuation funds into an SMSF, and sourcing and purchase of investment properties”.
- Misleading advertising of SMSFs – the Commissioner said the taskforce will expand its work on misleading advertising of SMSFs. Mr Tanzer said ASIC was regularly finding advertising of SMSFs on websites, print and radio, which do not comply with Regulatory Guidance 234 Advertising financial products and advice services: Good practice guidance (RG 234). He said the taskforce’s work will be expanded to cover online advertising channels, such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. ASIC will also be looking at SMSF seminars for evidence of misleading and deceptive conduct, as well as any unlicensed financial services conduct. Further, he said ASIC will look to issue an alert to industry and the public to be wary of shonky selling tactics at SMSF seminars.
[LTN 36, 24/2/14]