The director of Consumer Affairs Victoria has accepted an enforceable undertaking from a property investment company that made false claims related to investing in a superannuation fund.
Earlier this month, Consumer Affairs announced that it had accepted an enforceable undertaking from Melbourne-based Accrue Property.
Consumer Affairs found that Accrue made several false or misleading statements on its website.
One of these claims was that the company could show investors how to use their super funds to “earn an outstanding return, regardless of market conditions or whether capital growth occurs”.
It also claimed the Accrue Landbanking system could turn an investor’s super fund into a “goldmine – to purchase an appreciating asset, without taking a cent out of your own pocket”.
Accrue must now advise current or prospective customers that “no return is ever guaranteed” in relation to investing in property and investing through an
The company has also agreed to remove all false or misleading claims from its website and to submit to a two-year compliance program to ensure all company statements comply with Australian Consumer Law.
Accrue has also agreed to pay $5,000 to the Victorian Consumer Law Fund.
Comment: $5,000 ? They would have made more than that one single property deal. If it has been a financial planning firm they would have been hung out to dry
Federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has revealed the government’s desire to replace the charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) with a charity evaluator model based on the US-based Charity Navigator. Regulation of charities would return to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Since its inception at the end of 2012, the ACNC has been building the Register, which is at the heart of charity regulation. It provides a free, online, credible, searchable database on charities. The public and donors can — for the first time — identify bona fide charities by searching the Register.
The data on the register comes from information provided at the point of registration and on the Annual Information Statement (AIS) that all charities are required to provide to the ACNC each year. Research has shown that it takes charities ten minutes to complete the AIS — this is not an onerous compliance obligation.
The national collection of information on the charity sector and its dissemination through the public portal on the ACNC website allows all stakeholders who wish to donate, volunteer and be involved with charities to access easily information about every charity in Australia and provides comparability. Those charities fulfilling their mission and with good governance arrangements in place welcome the transparency. However, having finally acquired this extraordinary national collection of data on the charity sector, which can influence understanding of its economic and social value, research, policy development and donor decisions, we risk going back to being in the dark about charities and their contribution, as data collection will no longer tied to the AIS.
To me, this looks like major step bqckwards.
See the Governance Institute of Australia’s take on this at http://www.governanceinstitute.com.au/news-media/news/2014/02/government-confirms-it-intends-to-abolish-the-acnc/