ASIC bans property spruiker from providing advice

The director and chief executive of a company found to have unlawfully carried on an unlicensed financial services business has been banned by ASIC for a period of four years.

ASIC says it banned Ronald Malcolm Cross, chief executive and director of ParkTrent Properties Group, from providing financial services for four years.

On 27 November 2015, further to proceedings issued by ASIC, the New South Wales Supreme Court found that ParkTrent had unlawfully carried on an unlicensed financial services business for more than five years by advising clients to purchase investment properties through an SMSF.

The court also permanently restrained ParkTrent, which is based in Wollongong, NSW, from providing unlicensed financial product advice to clients regarding SMSFs.

ASIC said in a statement that “as a key decision maker of ParkTrent” Mr Cross was “knowingly involved in ParkTrents contraventions, making all of its major strategic and business decisions and intended to influence clients to purchase properties through SMSFs”.

The corporate regulator also found that Mr Cross was willing to ignore legal advice and warnings about ParkTrents practices, demonstrating that he is likely to contravene financial services laws.  

ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said ASIC’s action against Mr Cross shows the corporate regulator will not hesitate to exclude property spruikers, who provide unlicensed financial services, from the industry.

Mr Cross has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASICs decision.

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