Senate inquiry targeting property spruikers on the cards

A NSW senator is concerned by the “stampeding” of SMSFs into property investment, and intends to launch a Senate inquiry into property investment advisers.

Although the proposal is not yet finalised, Nationals Senator John Williams told SMSF Adviser the inquiry should, among other things, look into the extent of regulation and oversight of the property investment industry and the extent of investment in this sector through SMSFs.

Further, it should look at the qualifications and accreditation currently required to provide proper and qualified advice to potential investors, and any scope for tightening these qualifications.

Mr Williams expressed concern about the lack of regulatory oversight for property investment advisers.

“I can go to my hometown tomorrow, hang a sign out the front that says ‘John Williams, property investment adviser’. I don’t need do any study, I don’t need any experience, I don’t need any licence, I have no oversight of me – that is wrong,” Mr Williams said.

“And I bet you if I was to do that, I would advise people to invest in a property that just happens to return me the greatest commission,” he added.

Mr Williams floated the idea of ASIC having regulatory oversight of advisers on property investment.

“ASIC has done a good job when it comes to financial planning regulations here, obviously, and I think they need powers to clamp down on property spruikers,” he said.

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