Renewed calls for a last resort compensation scheme to cover customers when their adviser's firm ceases to exist
SR Group is standing firmly with Professor Ramsay's review for the federal government recommending the establishment of a compensation scheme of last resort for victims of poor financial advice. With the Royal commission dedicating public hearings to financial advice and Dover showcased it is an area needing the most immediate attention of last resort compensation. Time for reform.
The Federal Government has recently announced the introduction of new legislation, targeted at incentivising employers to come forward and attend to unpaid superannuation obligations.
The Government has introduced a 12-month amnesty period, allowing employers to come forward and attend to any historical superannuation guarantee (SG) entitlements outstanding, without the usual penalties and charges. This one-off scheme is designed to encourage employers to attend to their SG requirements in a timely manner. To access the amnesty, outstanding SG entitlements must be paid by employers in full, including all accrued nominal interest.
Mali De Castro
A WA businesswoman under investigation for masterminding a suspected $180 million “Ponzi” scheme, in which Malaysian and Singaporean investors were courted to invest in Pilbara property, has been permanently banned from providing financial services.
Australia’s corporate watchdog, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has found Veronica Macpherson engaged in “misleading” and “deceptive” conduct while promoting the Newman Estate Project in Western Australia’s Pilbara to overseas investors.
In a letter to Malcolm Turnbull last week Bill Shorten has suggested an extension of the inquiry, an apology and compensation scheme were the “least the government can do” in the future. SR Group sees this as a step forward in advocating for reform in the financial sector.
The Federal Court has clarified the scope of the releases that may be agreed by a lead applicant in a class action. It has stated very clearly that under the legislation governing class actions, the release can only relate to the claim the class action. The lead application has no power to grant a release in relation to things beyond the claim in the class action.
The issue arose in Dillon v RBS Group (Australia) Pty Limited (No 2)  FCA 395. Mrs Dillon sued RBS Group in relation to losses sustained by her and others in relation to exotic financial products known as ‘instalment warrants’. The case settled and as is typical in cases of this kind, RBS Group required each group member to sign a lengthy document containing, among other things, a release of RBS from any further liability by all group members in relation to issues raised in the proceedings.
The necessity of requiring group members to sign such a document prompted Lee J to consider the “important points of principle” about the scope of the proposed releases. It is an important point because defendants often ask for a release of all liability, whether or not connected with the issues in the case. A release of all liability would preclude group members from pursuing other claims they might have against a particular defendant. Lee J held that a release that went beyond the claim in the class action could not be maintained.
This decision has significant consequences. In the Great Southern litigation, a release was contained in the Deed of Settlement that clearly went beyond the scope of the class action. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, in the course of its recovery action, has relied on that release to assert that borrowers have no defences to the bank’s demands for payment.
Lee J’s decision makes it plain that this is not correct and that the scope of any release must be construed in line with the content of the claim in the class action.
Investing money is always a trade-off between risk and return. Just like most things in life; the greater the risk, the greater the reward. Not all risk is the same, however, and we should aim to eliminate risk wherever possible, especially with our money.
When investing your money, you want to worry about the success of your investment; will the company’s new project be successful? Will it be profitable enough to pay the dividends I am looking for?
What you don’t want to be worrying about is the safety of the investment itself, whether you’ve been scammed and whether the assets you bought genuinely exist.
Our investment tips will assist you in navigating the investment landscape for 2018.
Download the guide.
The big 4 banks have all come out this week and made submissions to the upcoming Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. Australia’s top 4 financial institutions each lodged submissions this week, summarising instances of misconduct and delinquency over the past decade. With the public hearings approaching on 12 February 2018, this is the first step, though a substantial one, towards fostering and maintaining transparency from our major banks.
Our Managing Director Susie Bennell was instrumental in bringing this to the government’s attention. Life changing news for people that have been wronged by banks and other financial institutions.
As 2017 starts to wind down, we begin to cast our eye forward towards the year to come. Here at the SR Group, we work closely with many small business owners and company directors, and we have decided to compile a list of tips to help your business thrive in 2018.
This couple has lost their successful small business after its tax payments were taken by an accountant the ATO was warned about three years ago.
Police are expected to charge Coffs Harbour’s Stephen Raymond Douglass as soon as this week over his pilfering of at least $500,000 and possibly $1 million from Warren and Sheenah Whitten’s Woolgoolga-based steel fabrication company, Arc Attack Engineering — money they thought he had remitted to the ATO.
In a confession he emailed to the Whittens a month ago, Douglass attempted to elicit sympathy by blaming his actions on a gambling addiction.
However, there was no mention of a gambling addiction in 2014 when another Woolgoolga client, Eadie Cabinet Making, discovered a decade’s worth of GST had not been paid to the tax office.
John Rolfe The Daily Telegraph
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