Mr Stephen Burgin, an authorised representative of Interprac Financial Planning, closed his website steveburgin.com.au in response to concerns raised by ASIC.
ASIC was concerned by images and references on the website which may have implied endorsements or approvals which were not actually held. This includes references to Mr Burgin as:
- A Senior ASIC Licensed Adviser; and
- An ASIC Licensed Fractional Property Consultant.
Neither of these approvals is available or possible as ASIC does not license individual advisers.
ASIC was also concerned that statements on the website may have created incorrect impressions about the benefits of investing in the financial products promoted by the website.
Certain statements on the website may have falsely given an impression to potential investors that their investment would entitle them to the benefits of direct land ownership by, for example, equating investment amounts to land size.
ASIC acknowledges the prompt action taken by Mr Burgin and Interprac Financial Planning in responding to its concerns.
ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said:
Financial products must not be promoted in a way that could mislead consumers about the benefits of the product or the product’s endorsement. We will be particularly concerned where advertisements falsely claim endorsement or approval by ASIC.