ASIC reinforces property, SMSF focus in 2018
The corporate regulator will continue to focus its surveillance efforts on property spruiking and one-stop shop operations this year with ASIC still seeing a “meaningful number” of property spruiking cases.
Speaking at the National SMSF Association Conference, ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said ASIC continues to look for patterns of operating models in the SMSF space that might present risk for consumers.
“We’re looking carefully at the whole issue of property spruiking and we want to make sure that inappropriate pressure selling of property doesn’t become a wider issue,” said Mr Kell.
Mr Kell said ASIC continues to have a focus on one-stop shops that are cropping up in the sector that can be quite aggressive in their marketing.
“We’ve seen a meaningful number of cases where we’ve seen people establishing an SMSF, but it’s been packaged in a way that makes it seem very attractive without [any explanation] of the risks,” he said.
“We’re also seeing SMSFs being set up under a general advice or no advice model. That might be entirely appropriate as long as consumers understand that they’re not getting financial advice through that particular channel.”
The deputy chair said ASIC will also be keeping an eye on the expansion of cryptocurrency in the SMSF sector.
“We’ve issued some warnings already around the speculative nature of the investment," said Mr Kell.
“It’s rapidly evolving in terms of whether some of these offerings will turn into financial products or not, or become regulated or not. I can assure you it’s something that we’re keeping an eye on. I would hope that we wouldn’t see the more speculative cryptocurrencies becoming a main feature of this sector.”