BFCSA Blog

Led by award-winning consumer advocate Denise Brailey, BFCSA (Inc) are a group of people who are concerned about the appalling growth of Loan Fraud around the world. BFCSA (Inc) is a not for profit organisation in the spirit of global community concern and justice.

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Dear Mr Shipton   I would like to draw your attention to the debacle named Stirling New Life, (STIRLING NEW NIGHTMARE) comes to mind and would be more appropriate.  In 2017, a time when I suffered 3 heart attacks, we decided to downsize and find a more secure home where we could spend our remaining years in comfort safe with the knowledge that if I died first my wife would be in a safe place, at ease and comfortable.  We engaged several real estate agents to help us, however, the model shown to us by Stirling New Life where we were able to choose from a number of homes,  appealed to us because it allowed us to do a long term lease and retain our money in a trust fund which pooled with other lease holders paid all the rent and rates etc; We didn’t go into this blindly, as we...
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Dear Mr Shipton   Re: The Sterling Life Group collapse   I am writing to you to express my anger, disappointment pain and suffering that has been brought about by the collapse of the Sterling Group and the abysmal failure of ASIC to protect consumers and their hard-earned assets.   My husband and I paid for a 40-year Sterling New Life lease in October 2017 expecting to see out our remaining years in a very secure unit in Mandurah. We thought that this money was placed in a trust but now it appears that it was more of a Ponzi scheme. We also invested $75,000 in units in late 2018 which were supposedly going to be listed on the ASX within weeks. This never happened and again Ponzi scheme springs to mind. We have worked hard all our lives and just wanted to enjoy our retirement with a few simple pleasures...
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Mr Shipton We are a couple in our retirement years who are now facing the prospect of homelessness and financial ruin. With trust we placed our life savings into Sterling NewLife via Silverlink investments. The situation we are now in was avoidable had ASIC done their job properly having been given notice and failing to act on our behalf and allowing ourselves and many others to invest as late as 2018. We have worked our entire life, paid our taxes and lived within the law of the land. Due to the negligence of ASIC we are in this unacceptable and horrendous situation which has caused us such stress that we have had to seek medical advice. We are facing homelessness for placing our faith and  trust in the protection we should of been given by ASIC, Therefore ASIC must be held accountable and rectify their failure to do the job correctly....
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Dear Mr Shipton The Collapse of the STERLING LIFE GROUP - A Failure of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. We are requesting to be compensated for the loss of our $210.000 paid into the Sterling Investment Trust in 2016. Since this debacle started we have found out from THETA (the trust managers) that this was never set up as a trust rather an investment fund operating very near to a PONZI scheme. There are over 100 retirees who have been left penniless and liable to be issued with eviction notices. Where can we go? We have worked all our lives and brought up children to believe in fair play and respect to others. Sterling have not given us this. So we are demanding that $26 million within 8 weeks as compensation, occurring. My faith in this Government has been destroyed. The words Australian Securities and Investment Commission does not do...
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Mr James Shipton Chairman of ASIC Melbourne VIC      Dear Sir, Myself and my wife have been caught up in the Sterling New Life collapse. We purchased a lease to secure our housing needs for the remainder of our life. We did not enter into this arrangement lightly and we did our due diligence. The first thing I did was to go into the ASIC web site to see if there were any red flags. There was only one reference to Sterling which according to ASIC was only a minor breach. Also in Sterling’s disclosure document the following was stipulated. 1. All monies will be invested in low risk securities ( capital preservation is the first priority)   2. All investments will be monitored by a trustee 3. 20% of all monies will kept aside as liquid cash None of this happened.   ASIC investigated Sterling In 2015 as concerns...
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Dear Mr Shipton, The Collapse of the STERLING LIFE GROUP - A Failure of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, This is an urgent demand for compensation from ASIC of $26 million within 8 weeks due to what we believe was a regulatory negligence which resulted in my wife and myself along with another 100 retirees losing their life savings to a company which ASIC already knew would likely fail. Such was the nature of the company setup the failure will also mean that rents will not be paid and all 101 of us will most certainly be issued with breach notices and asked to vacate or issued eviction notices. Sir, our money is gone, where we live is untenable and we are all over 65, I am not sure if you are aware but this means that it is extremely difficult to attain employment at such an advanced age and...
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Dear Mr Shipton,   My wife and I are victims of the Sterling First Group financial collapse.  I am writing this to express in the strongest possible terms our astonishment at ASIC’s lack of inaction in this matter and in the knowledge that ASIC was concerned about the product Sterling First were selling to vulnerable pensioners like us as early as 2015, but more importantly had commenced an investigation into the Sterling First Life Lease product and kept silent about it. Whilst ASIC as the nation’s regulator can’t be responsible for Sterling First’s collapse it is and has been responsible for not taking appropriate action to stop the Sterling First Group from selling the Life Lease products that did not meet the regulator’s (ASIC) requirements, ASIC as the government’s regulator had a responsibility to act to protect vulnerable people like us from entering into a financial arrangement with a group of...
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Re – Sterling First Group Collapse & ASIC’s Negligence   Dear Mr Shipton,   My husband and I are victims of the Sterling First Group financial collapse.   My husband wrote to you recently in relation to the Sterling First Group’s collapse in particular how ASIC’s utter neglect resulted in us entering into a Life Lease arrangement with Sterling First Group at a time that ASIC were fully aware that the Sterling First Group were under investigation by ASIC.   I am writing to you not to repeat what my husband has already said but to let you know the significant impact this has had on us and our family, emotionally/physically and financially.   We have a large family – 5 children and 13 grandchildren all living within 2km of us and it was for this reason that we moved from Morley WA (30km from where we now reside) and entered...
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Dear Mr Shipton   I cannot and still do not believe that You sat on your Hands (ass) still to this day and have done nothing to publicly explain of your 4 year regulatory negligence in the matter of $26 million missing from us personally knowing what has transpired thru Sterling Life Group.  I Demand that you return our monies and everyone else involved in this tragic matter. The Heartache as well as our deteriorating health has been unspeakable. Our money is gone taken by the Theta the trust managers and was never ever set up and operating instead as a Ponzi scheme.  We Hold Ray and Ryan Jones fully responsible for this debacle and ASIC for allowing this scheme to continue when they knew there were issues.   We are now being faced with eviction from our home that we have worked all our lives and have spend receipts have...
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Dear Mr Shipton, I write to you as a leaseholder caught up in this Sterling New Life grand theft, larceny call it what you will.  It is the theft of monies amounting to $26 million from retirees and pensioners by thieves and con men namely Ray and Ryan Jones and Company, amongst those millions $140,000 of my money which amounted to my entire life savings. I have nothing left out of all my savings over the last 50 working years of my working life. At 68 and still working you can imagine the crippling impact this has had on my wifes and mine life. We are facing eviction from the modest 2 bedroom apartment that we have called home for over a year and I have nothing to show for the past 50 years of my working life, because it has all been stolen by Ray and Ryan Jones and Company...
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26th June 2019 Chairman of ASIC On 16th April 2018, following due diligence, my wife and I signed a 40 year lease worth $254,000 through a Silverlink Investment Plan with Sterling New Life. Little did we know that SNL operations had been under ASIC investigation for some time. Had we known this we would not have proceeded. ASIC failed in its duty of care to the consumer. We hold ASIC responsible for the loss of most of our savings and for the modestly safe retirement we were seeking to secure. We are seeking redress for ourselves and the many others who were similarly negligently deceived while it was ASIC’s duty of care to act and prevent the continuing scandalous behaviour of the SNL directrors. We believe redress should include urgent compensation in full of all monies invested and lost in the Sterling New Life companies.  They represent the hard earned life...
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26 June 2019   ASIC CHAIRMAN     Re  Sterling New Life  Dear Mr Shipton It is with considerable distress that I write to complain about the preventable loss of our retirement investment in a 40 year Sterling New Life lease worth $254,000 – most of my husband’s superannuation. Following a lifetime of employment housing (my husband was a local church pastor) on a single modest income, it seemed the only way to achieve a secure retirement in Perth where we could be near our son who lives with a disability.   The collapse has devastated us, and I understand it was preventable because ASIC has known about this company and its shady directors since 2015. Whey were we not told before signing away our life savings in super? What is ASIC’s duty of care to the consumer?Natural justice would see an urgent full return of money preventable invested in a fraudulent product for...
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26th June 2019 Chairman of ASIC  Dear Mr Shipton,   further to Denise Brailey’s letter to you on behalf of retirees impacted by the collapse of the Sterling group of companies I would like to add my support to her claim for compensation as a result of ASIC’s negligence. In July 2018 I received a letter from Ray Jones chairman of the Sterling group who stated : “Given that we cannot guarantee the future unit price, for your peace of mind we now undertake to make up any capital shortfall, should one arise, when you end your Sterling New Life tenancy and redeem your investment.  For example, if you invested $200,000 in the Sterling Income Trust, and upon redemption are only entitled to $180,000 based on the unit price at the time, Sterling will contribute a further $20,000, bringing the redemption amount back up to $200,000. The amount will be the...
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Mr James SHIPTON Chairman of Australian Securities & Investments Commission,  120 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000     Tuesday June 26th 2019   Dear Mr Shipton,   I am writing to tell you of my utter disgust at how my wife and I along with many more people have been treated by your department and on your watch.   My wife and I deposited funds into Sterling New Life on May 25th 2018 as a means of protecting our remaining years. We have recently found out that you and your department had been investigating Sterling New Life for up to three years prior to our depositing money.   Why Mr Shipton did you not set off alarm bells in order to protect the interest of good Australian citizens. Australian citizens Mr Shipton who had paid taxes all their working lives and, in many cases, served in the armed forces ready to defend...
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'Everyone at the top of the banks is hurting': Anna Bligh Australian Financial Review May 17, 2019 4.18pm Misa Han   The banking industry's top lobbyist, Anna Bligh, says changing culture and accepting a higher level of professionalism means accepting lower growth levels in the financial services industry. The chief executive of the Australian Banking Association said the half-year results of the three major banks and the quarterly results of the Commonwealth Bank reflect the cost of "short-termism". "Every one of those banks is reporting to the market significant amounts of money have been set aside as provisions for remediation," she told a panel at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission annual forum on Friday. "If you say you're changing and it doesn't hurt, then you're not changing. "And I think everybody at the top of the banks is hurting and I think they understand there's some more pain to come."...
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  ANZ pulls plug on key advice service as Hayne fallout continues Sydney Morning Herald May 17, 2019 3.17pm Clancy Yeates   ANZ Bank will stop offering its flagship financial advice service, as the industry grapples with the fallout from the fees-for-no-service scandal and the royal commission's scrutiny. In the latest change by a major bank in the advice sector, ANZ on Friday said it would phase out its "prime access" offering, which involved various services including an annual financial review. Instead, the bank will charge for advice on a case-by-case basis, meaning that more complex advice will lead to higher fees. Customers will also be given the choice of how frequently they want a review of their financial plan, rather than the current practice of annual reviews. The overhaul was announced as it also emerged that ANZ would have to hold more capital for "operational risk" in its New Zealand...
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RBNZ hints at more actions against ANZ Australian Financial Review May 17, 2019 3.23pm James Frost   ANZ Banking Group's relationship with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand has deteriorated after it was penalised for running an unapproved model for its rainy day reserves, and the central bank flagged it may be just the tip of the iceberg. The bank suffered a humiliating blow on Friday after the privilege to run its own operational risk reserve was revoked by the RBNZ when ANZ admitted it had been using a rogue model for almost five years. New Zealand’s central bank has, however, rejected claims the move was payback for ANZ’s inflammatory remarks about withdrawing from the country in response to increased capital weightings. The RBNZ said the bank changed its approach to calculating the size of a rainy day fund known as operational risk capital reserve in 2014 but did inform the...
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Banks dodging capital crisis with negative equity fiddle MacroBusiness 12:00 pm on May 17, 2019 David Llewellyn-Smith   Macquarie has dug into the bank’s negative equity reporting and found, guess what, chaos: ANZ’s negative equity data was the highest of the big four at 5 per cent, or 4.25 per cent when offset accounts are factored in. Macquarie said ANZ’s approach – which used combined customer debt secured by property divided by property value – was the most granular and the most “conservative”. CBA uses a similar methodology for arriving at its figure, but unlike rival banks its published figure disclosed the number of loans rather than overall value. Benchmarking against the RBA data, Macquarie suggested negative equity could be as high as 4.2 per cent across the book. NAB used a state-based pricing index “which in our view materially understates the extent of the issue”, Mr German said. Macquarie found...
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Financial advisers to get qualification in ethics Australian Financial Review May 15, 2019 5.11pm Robert Bolton   The Ethics Centre is launching a university level course in ethics which will be offered to the new regulator the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority. From January entrants to the sector will have to meet new skill and performance standards. The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA), which was rushed into existence in 2017 on the back of scandals involving mis-selling of financial products, will implement a code of ethics at the beginning of next year. Ethics Centre director Simon Longstaff said selling financial advice was being moved from a market-oriented industry to a profession and needed a sharp lift in standards to make the jump. From January 1, studying a course in ethics will be a mandatory part of getting registration as an adviser. "Most professions have evolved slowly. We're asking...
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Warning as housing stock piles up The Australian 12:00am May 17, 2019 Ben Wilmot   The housing market has been hit by a wave of stock build-up with properties taking longer to sell ahead of the federal election that could generate further period of uncertainty, with Labor promising to introduce changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax if it forms the next government. The auction market has dipped despite some signs of stabilisation, and could fall away if the rule changes drive uncertainty and demand from buyers remains soft. CoreLogic analyst Cameron Kusher said there was an elevated level of housing for sale in capital cities. Even if no more properties were advertised for sale it would take 5.3 months for the advertised supply to clear, he said. CoreLogic’s stock indicator has leapt to its highest level for any time since 2012. Just a year ago, there was a lower...
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