ASIC provides update on misconduct with early super release
ASIC has received over 100 reports of misconduct from the public regarding the provision of unlicensed advice by real estate agents on the early release of super scheme.
In April this year, ASIC issued a warning to the real estate industry after it became aware that some real estate agents were advising tenants who were unable to pay their rent, or that may be unable to pay rent in the future, to apply for early release of their superannuation.
ASIC executive director for assessment and intelligence Warren Day said ASIC has received 124 reports of misconduct from the general public regarding this issue.
“We issued approximately 13 warning letters to certain real estate agents asking them to rectify their behaviour. We have had our enforcement teams look at a couple of matters more intently,” Mr Day told the Joint Committee on Corporations.
“At the moment, there is no further action likely to be taken in relation to those matters.”
ASIC’s early intervention on the matter, Mr Day said, was an effective pre-emptive step that prevented a number of breaches of criminal law by real estate agents.
Mr Day said in ASIC’s view, the misconduct was no longer continuing, with ASIC seeing a “huge amount of walk back by real estate agents where they had been making direct statements to tenants that they should be accessing their super”.
ASIC said it was also aware of one private school that had made recommendations to a number of parents that if they couldn’t pay their fees, they could consider accessing their super.
“The school apologised for that statement and walked that back,” he said.
Mr Day said three of ASIC’s working groups that are focused on scams, misleading advertising and unlicensed advice would be investigating the issue in a number of other spaces also.
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.