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BFCSA: Angry Letters from Victims of Lazy ASIC re Sterling Collapse # 54

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The Australian Investment and Securities Commission

120 Collins Street



Att: Mr James Shipton (Chairman)


Subject: The Sterling Group Collapse


Dear Sir


It has recently been brought to my attention that a significant number of retirees have been affected by the collapse of the Sterling Group. It seems to me that the company had developed a scheme that was aimed at lining the pockets of the directors at significant cost to retirees who were doing the right thing in setting themselves up in secure accommodation for what remained of their lives. As a retiree, I am dismayed that such a thing could be allowed to occur to people at this stage of their lives. To me it is the equivalent of elder financial abuse


According to reports I have seen, the company and its directors had been under investigation for some time prior to the company collapse and that directors  of the company had previously been involved in dubious practices but were permitted to continue as company directors and their companies permitted to continue to trade. If this is the case, I am appalled that ASIC failed to take action to suspend the operations of the company and to make in publicly known that there were issues under investigation which would have alerted would be clients and their financial advisors to beware.


Too often we learn of our senior citizens being ripped off by money hungry predators and being left bankrupted often due to the failure of our corporate watchdogs doing their job to protect them. This company is one which carried on its business when clearly it should not have been allowed to do so. Its business model was one which was headed for disaster from its inception.


Although this matter does not affect me personally, I firmly believe ASIC has a responsibility to ensure that all measures are taken to assist those affected to recover all their investment in addition to initiating prosecutions against the company directors. The use of public money as a means of assisting the victims seems appropriate in this case. I would urge ASIC to act immediately to relieve the affected retirees of the suffering they are experiencing at present and enable them to move on before it is too late.


Yours Faithfully

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Guest Sunday, 25 October 2020