The Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) has suspended one of its members, following an ASIC investigation that found he had failed to comply with credit laws and provided unlawful SMSF advice.
As reported in Australian Broker, Matt George, who is the sole director of the Melbourne-based property investment and finance business Money Choice, was banned last week from engaging in credit activities for eight years and providing financial services for three years.
ASIC’s investigation of George and his business found failures to comply with credit laws, responsible lending shortfalls and instances of unlicensed SMSF advice.
PIPA chair, Ben Kingsley, says the association has suspended George’s Money Choice corporate membership and would be conducting its own investigation into the matter.
“PIPA will not tolerate any member who acts unlawfully and not within the best interests of their clients. Mr George has been issued with a suspension notice and will face a possible expulsion following further investigations.”
“Under our constitution, Money Choice and Mr George as sole director may also face financial penalties for wilfully refusing or neglecting to comply with the provisions of the constitution, or if found guilty of conduct which in the opinion of the board is prejudicial to the interests of the company” he adds.
According to Kingsley, PIPA has welcomed ASIC’s decision to crack down on the SMSF space but maintains that Money Choice’s suspension highlights on-going issues within the fast-growing SMSF sector.
“We remain concerned with the on-going lack of regulation surrounding property investment, including within the SMSF space. This sector of superannuation continues to grow exponentially and the alleged wrong-doings of Money Choice is yet another clear reminder that regulation is lacking. How many more Australians losing huge amounts of money will it take for the government to take action?”