The Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) has issued a caution to practitioners who are unlawfully giving SMSF advice.
Speaking toSMSF Adviser, PIPA chair Ben Kingsley said ASIC has made it â€œvery clearâ€ the association will use its powers to bring to account any party operating unlawfully.
â€œFurthermore, trustees of SMSFs are at real financial risk if they are taking any advice from anyone who simply doesnâ€™t have the qualifications, licensing and skill sets to appropriately advise any SMSF trustee,â€ he said.
Mr Kingsley said PIPA is concerned practitioners, including mortgage brokers and real estate agents, may be talking to clients about setting up an SMSF to purchase an investment property.
â€œThis is clearly outside of their professional scope and our regulatory laws in the financial services sector. The recommendation of setting up an SMSF can only be undertaken by a qualified and licensed financial planner or accountant,â€ Mr Kingsley said.
â€œWe would recommend that any property investment advice be provided by those with some level of qualification regarding property investing, even though the industry remains unregulated.â€
PIPA has long argued for increased regulation in the property investment space, with Mr Kingsley previously tellingSMSF Adviser the government should legislate for property to be classed as a financial product when the purpose of sale is for investment.
â€œAs long as property investment remains unregulated, Australian investors will remain at the mercy of profiteering property spruikers,â€ Mr Kingsley said.
27 March 2014
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