The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has stepped in to try and stop real estate agents advising tenants struggling to pay rent to withdraw money from their superannuation, warning that those who do so could face hefty fines and jail time for unlicensed financial advice against people’s best interests.
The letter states in part –
“Financial advice must only be provided by qualified and licensed financial advisers,
or financial counsellors, not by real estate agents who neither hold the requisite
licence, nor are an authorised representative of an Australian Financial Services
The Corporations Act imposes significant penalties for a contravention of section
911A. For individuals this can be a maximum of 5 years imprisonment, and/or a fine of
up to $126,000 (600 penalty units), and for corporations a fine of up to $1,260 million
dollars (6000 penalty units).
Tenants facing financial difficulty need sound financial guidance and potentially
debt counselling. Specifically pointing them to and recommending them to consider
the specific possibility of accessing superannuation is, again, likely to amount to a
breach of the Act.”
ASIC has written to real estate institutes, calling on them to pass on the letter to all members “as a matter of priority”.
A ful copy of the letter can be found here
Please contact Integrity One if we can assist you with this or any other financial matter.
Phone: (03) 9723 0522
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Croydon, Victoria 3136
This information is of a general nature and does not take into consideration anyone’s individual circumstances or objectives. Financial Planning activities only are provided by Integrity One Planning Services Pty Ltd as a Corporate Authorised Representative No. 315000 of Integrity Financial Planners Pty Ltd ABN 71 069 537 855 AFSL 225051. Integrity One Planning Services Pty Ltd and Integrity One Accounting and Business Advisory Services Pty Ltd are not liable for any financial loss resulting from decisions made based on this information. Please consult your adviser, finance specialist, broker, and/or accountant before making decisions using this information.