Adviser closes website after ASIC concerns

08-Mar-2017

By Sarah Kendell

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The corporate regulator has intervened over wording on the website of an Interprac licensed adviser, saying claims made on the site were misleading about both his qualifications and the types of products his clients were able to invest in.

Stephen Burgin closed his website, stephenburgin.com.au, in response to concerns raised by ASIC about references he had made to being a ‘senior ASIC licensed adviser’ and an ‘ASIC licensed fractional property consultant’.

The regulator objected to such wording as it did not license individual advisers who operated as authorised representatives under the licence of a broader group – in Burgin’s case, Interprac Financial Planning.

It also raised concerns with Burgin about the way he had worded descriptions about fractional investment products offered to clients, saying they gave clients the mistaken impression they were entitled to a particular parcel of land within a property development when they entered into a fractional property investment scheme.

While acknowledging Burgin and his dealer group had been quick to address the error, ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said financial products must not be promoted in a way that could mislead consumers about the benefits of a certain product or its endorsement by the regulator.

“We will be particularly concerned where advertisements falsely claim endorsement or approval by ASIC,” Kell said.

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