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BFCSA: Angry Letters from Victims of Lazy ASIC re Sterling Collapse # 19

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Dear Mr Shipton


Collapse of Sterling First Group


We bought a life lease on an apartment in Maylands in September, 2018 which cost us a total of 280,000.00.  In May, 2019 the company apparently went into voluntary administration and is now being liquidated. We understand that ASIC had already stopped Sterling selling a certain product by June, 2018 which was about 4 months before we entered into this arrangement; they apparently tried to revamp their system and sold us another product.

 If we had known that ASIC had been investigating the Sterling Life Group we would not have entered into a life lease. Within 7 months we had lost all the money we put into the Sterling Group.

ASIC was aware of the problems with Sterling First, but they never intervened and stopped ordinary hard working Australians entering into what we think was a dodgy deal.

This has had a significant impact on us and our finances.

We have 1-2 years of work life left before we retire so have been affected in the following ways .

1.      Lost our life savings

2.      We thought we had a home for 40 years

3.      We were told that we would not have to pay normal costs of owning a home such as rates and taxes.

4.      We will not be able to afford $1430.00 rent a month going into retirement. Also under the life lease arrangement our rent was to increase by 2% per annum.

5.      Rose has been diagnosed with 2 significant autoimmune diseases which cause a lot of pain in her hands. She is still working but is unable to do her full job. One of the medications which she has to use for her skin condition is not on the PBS – This means increased medical costs. Rose has to see 2 specialists which can become quite costly.

6.      We may have to continue working for longer to try and make ends meet

7.      The life lease was going to help us in retirement and has now ruined our financial plans for the future.

Had we known that ASIC was investigating Sterling prior to us committing to a life lease we would not have invested in this dodgy scheme and as such would not have lost $280,000.00.

This would appear to be another example of ASIC failing to protect the Australian older persons from being preyed upon by persons with a history of involvement in financial collapses.

 We were told that this was an investment which would not fail and we at minimal cost to ourselves would have a roof over our heads as we headed into retirement. As a result of this collapse we will now have to use our superannuation to purchase a small apartment for our retirement and will then have to rely on the aged pension.

This has become very stressful for both of us and it has played out in our emotions and ability to sleep at night as we are worried about our financial future.

We are hardworking Australians who were hoping to have a healthy happy retirement instead this has left us in a very vulnerable position thanks to ASIC failing us.


Yours sincerely


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Guest Friday, 27 November 2020