ASIC revokes credit licence of property and SMSF spruiker

by Julia Corderoy26 Aug 2015
ASIC has canceled the credit licence of a Queensland-based credit provider in a crackdown on property spruiking.

The cancellation of Smithson & Baye's credit licence is part of an ongoing ASIC investigation into a property and SMSF promoting group, which has been providing advice to investors to establish an SMSF for investment in real estate in Queensland and the arranging of finance for those investments.

The group includes the companies formerly called Heritage Financial Solutions (in liquidation) and Sunpac Finance. The sole director and shareholder of Smithson & Baye, Ricardo Viana, is also the sole director and shareholder of Sunpac Finance.

According to ASIC, Smithson & Baye was providing additional loans to clients of Heritage Financial Solutions and Sunpac Finance, beyond that which mainstream lenders would lend, to assist those clients to purchase real estate in Queensland through SMSFs.

By doing so, ASIC found that the Queensland-based credit provider had contravened its obligations under the National Credit Act. 

Separately, ASIC has concerns about the way the loans and property ownership have been structured. 

The watchdog is now advising anyone who obtained advice or finance from people associated with Heritage Financial Solutions, Sunpac Finance, Smithson & Baye or Vegeta (in liquidation) to contact their lender and obtain independent professional advice to ensure that the loans to their SMSFs and their property ownership have been structured in compliance with the trustees' superannuation law obligations.

ASIC's investigation is continuing.