Park Trent Properties Group Pty Ltd, known as Park Trent, is under scrutiny from ASIC.
ASIC has commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, where they seek interim and final orders that will stop the property promoters from carrying on an unlicensed financial services business.
Park Trent’s property promotion includes the use of SMSFs to purchase property. ASIC alleges that they are unlawfully carrying on a financial services business without a financial services licence.
At least 500 members of the public have been advised by Park Trent to start an SMSF and switch funds into it to then buy investment properties owned or promoted by Park Trent companies, according to ASIC, who are seeking orders to force Park Trent to notify current and former clients about the proceeding.
They would also be required to post details about the proceeding on their website.
Park Trent currently has almost 14,000 likes on Facebook and hold seminars across the country with offices in every state and territory apart from Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
The SMSF section of their website encourages those who are interested in reading more to call their “EasyPlan Financial Services” team.
No doubt this will be of interest to other SMSF property promoters that do not hold financial services licences.
ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer said that Australians hold more than $1.85 trillion in superannuation funds assets, including $557 billion in SMSFs.
“It is important when making decisions regarding superannuation to consider obtaining appropriate advice from an authorised financial adviser,” he said.
“Dealing with an authorised adviser affords specific protections under the law, such as acting in the best interests of clients, a duty to avoid conflicts of interest and providing access to dispute resolution schemes.”
The first hearing is listed for 26 November.
This story originally appeared on Property Observer.