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BFCSA: Angry Letters to JOSH FRYDENBERG re Sterling Collapse # 7

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4th July 2019


Hon Josh Frydenberg MP

P.O. Box 6022House of Representatives Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600


Re: The collapse of the Sterling Life Group by inaction of ASIC.


Dear Mr Frydenberg


My wife and I are one of the now hundreds of people that have lost their life savings and the security we had having a roof over our heads for the rest of our lives.

Why because Mr Shipton and his staff at ASIC could not be bothered to send out a warning about Sterling New Life Group.


We joined the Sterling Life Group on the 26th July 2017 this is months and probably years after ASIC knew there were problems with this group. If the Chairman of ASIC had issued warnings about this group, we and others would not be in this situation now. This is gross neglect of his duties by not stopping this group.


My wife and I have worked all our lives totalling over 100 years paying taxes without any benefits from Centrelink. I worked until I was 71 years old and only retired because I have a heart problem and need to have an operation to have a stent inserted. My wife worked until she was 66 years old.


Not once in the six months we checked this Sterling Group out did we hear or see anything from any lawyer, accountant or the media that there was a problem because I reckon none of them was sent a warning from ASIC. If they could not stop Sterling from trading at least a warning would have saved all this carnage. This was supposed to be our final place to spend the rest of our lives comfortably and most of all securely.


We took all our money out of Super and savings to set us up for life we cannot start over again at our age or afford to pay rent on the age pension. We are devastated by this and we demand from ASIC our $241500 and for all the 100s of victims that now adds up to over $36 million dollars in our losses. We were also encouraged to spend money to make it more comfortable. We spent over $10000 on solar panels , security doors, lighting and patio. What chance of getting compensated for that as I am guessing it is not in the $36 million?


 This has caused a lot of stress in our lives that we do not need at this stage. We have a lot of nights we find difficult to sleep it hurts me to listen to my wife crying at night instead of enjoying a good night’s sleep that she has earned in her later life. For the first time I have heard her use the word SUICIDE and why because of ASICs absolute gross negligence of Mr Shipton and his teams’ duties.


By the gross neglect of Mr Shipton has cost all these pensioners of their savings, security and so much stress that it will lead to some people having mental health issues as well. We feel that Mr Shipton as chairman of ASIC, with a simple warning could have protected all of us from this pain. Very poor way to look after pensioners that have worked all our lives to pay taxes for his, no doubt very well-paid job.


As Treasurer Mr Frydenberg I am sure you would have been informed of the Sterling Group of Companies in your monthly meetings with the ASICs Chairman or Directors and if not, why were they hiding it from you? I would have a guess as they knew they had stuffed up yet again and if yes what were your instructions to have this sorted before it got to be a disaster?

 It also appears that Government Departments staff are not fully informed or trained in their duties to the public. I have heard from some other of these victims that Centerlink has asked at least one person for their rent assistance money back as Centerlink now think the renter actually owns the property as they have paid out for 40 years rent in advance.

I wish this was so as I could then tell the owner he no longer owns his investment property as Centrelink says I do, how good would that be.

Surely Mr Frydenberg paying rent is still rent if it is paid weekly, monthly or 40 years in advance.


It appears that in some Centerlink offices you get rent assistance and some offices you don’t, how is this possible the rules should be the same, this is poor training. We do not need this extra stress on top of what has already happened. How are people expected to find money to pay back Centrelink when they have been robbed, with ASICs blessing of all their money. This would not have happened if they had done their job properly in the first place. Rent is rent and aged pensioners should be able to get rent assistance.

 As Treasurer you should be able to get ASIC to immediately pay out the monies required to allow us to get our money back so we can get back some peace of mind before we work out what we need to do next ie continue where we are or have to move to cheaper rent. It is still a far cry from being SET FOR LIFE

.Please give this serious matter your utmost immediate attention as we urgently need our money back in the next few weeks so we can start to get some sanity and security back into our lives.


Yours sincerely

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