The collapse of Sterling Life Group – Failure of ASIC to warn potential clients of the likelihood of failure.

 

Dear Mr James Shipton,

Further to the support and correspondence from Denise Brailey – President of BFCSA (Inc) Banking and Finance Consumers Support Association dated 25th June 2019.

I wish to explain the situation, I and 100 extra retirees and pensioners face, and the events leading up to my accepting a property with Sterling Life lease.  The pain and struggle is real.  We are not numbers but real people who have lost their life savings, and potentially the roof over our heads, through no fault of our own.

I am a 77yr old widow and realised my family home and yard was too big for me to maintain, so I began weighing up the options of moving into a retirement village or a suitable alternative.

It was in November 2016, where I saw a printed advertisement of the Sterling Life lease scheme, in our local Community paper, and the West Australian newspaper.  Curtin radio 100.1fm also advertised the concept.   It was endorsed by Mitchell Johnson and local media personality Jenny Seaton.

I enquired with the Salesman Phil Lucks.   After doing a few months of research I eventually handed over $315000 (the proceeds of the sale of our family home) and I moved into a new modest 3 Bedroom unit in January 2017.  I have made it my own, knowing I was set for at least 40 years.   I was advised when I moved out or passed, my Sons would be able to apply for the initial investment, less any exit fees. 

My disappointment in all of this fiasco, is that ASIC knew there were issues with the company, way before November 16, and failed to put out advertisements or warnings with the same media outlets outlining concerns with a) the Directors – previous bankruptees, and b) the product disclosure statement.

Had I have seen the warnings, I would NOT have undertaken the SNL lease option and the risk of losing my life funds.

Our rents have not been paid since March 19, and my Landlord has advised my rent is more than $3000 in arrears with no prospect of me being able to afford to catch up, let alone commence paying around $340.00 per week.  You are well aware that a single pension is approximately $460.00 Per week.  If I am to stay in the home I have called my own and made improvements to , I’m left with $120.00 per week for food, fuel and house running expenses.  It is very distressing for myself, and affecting my mental health and wellbeing and I’m not alone, there are 100 more people in the same predicament as I am.

I implore you – Mr Shipton, to take heed of the contents in Ms Brailey’s correspondence and take some ownership for the failure to act, and at least repay the money to the investors, who would have otherwise not signed up , had they have been informed of the risks that ASIC knew about.

 

There also should be some action taken against the directors a consequence of their fraudulent activity.  I will watch this space.

 

Yours sincerely