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BFCSA: Angry Letters from Victims of Lazy ASIC re Sterling Collapse # 37

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Chairman of Australian Securities & Investments Commission, 

Ref: The Collapse of the STERLING LIFE GROUP – A Failure of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.




I write to you in disgust at the lack of action taken by ASIC with regards to the collapse of the Sterling Life Group.

On the 16th April 2018 my wife and I invested our life savings into a 40-year lease and moved into a home in Ashby, Western Australia for what we thought was the start to a worry-free retirement.  This was not to be.  I was never informed of the collapse of the Sterling Life Group and only found out via a neighbour and have never received any correspondence regarding the collapse apart from 1 letter from the receivers.  I still do not know where I am going to live. 

Let me ask you a question Mr Shipton so that you maybe able to assist me.  My wife and I have to try and see a future when everything we had has been taken from us, our life saving have gone, our hope and vision for the future has been smashed and destroyed beyond recognition.  We do not sleep well anymore, I have to watch my wife worry, suffer from stress and cry with hopelessness and I cannot give her any answers. 

This situation need not arisen if the Department for which you hold responsibility had performed its function and done its job.  What can you offer for me to resolve this situation? 

ASIC knew of the likelihood of failure of The Sterling Group as early as 2015. ASIC databases would have alerted investigators to previous company collapses and breaches of the Corporation Law.   ASIC failed to take appropriate action in 2007 and again in 2015. ASIC failed to protect vulnerable and older consumers by issuing early vital warnings of catastrophic financial loss and by delaying stop orders. ASIC would of (and should have) known that persons involved in the Sterling Life Group had also been involved in the Westpoint disaster.  Your department should have seen the red flags blowing in the breeze and if they did, they ignored them.  Absolutely disgusting.       

In my opinion the Regulatory Officers/Investigators involved should be charged with Regulatory Negligence due to their failed approach to consumer protection.  If this happened in any other business the persons would be dismissed.  I know this will not be the case with regards to a Government Department.  To those people I would like to say that I hope you feel proud of yourselves and satisfied that your lack of action and due diligence has resulted in my wife and I losing our life savings, facing eviction with nowhere to live.  Your lack of action has destroyed our lives as much has the criminal actions of the Sterling Life Group Directors.    At a minimum the following should happen:   

·         Compensation must be offered and the full amounts of monies paid returned to all of us affected- both tenants and landlords. 

·         Criminal charges must be laid against the Sterling Life Group Directors.

·         ASIC to undertake a review of their operating procedures and FINALLY put procedures and plans in place to prevent this ever happening again.

·         Those who display Regulatory Negligence within ASIC should not longer have the privilege of holding the position.

·         ASIC to be proactive not reactive (when there is a public outcry) and use its full range of powers.



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Guest Wednesday, 20 January 2021