Kovacs Property Group Pty Ltd has paid a $10,800 penalty to comply with an ASIC infringement notice after producing potentially misleading advertisements online.
The statements were made on www.positivefuture.com.au, a website used in the promotion of the Investment Samaritan Offer, an investment offered within the Guardian Investment Fund. The statements were published over late 2015 and early 2016.
ASIC was concerned that the website emphasised the safety of the investment in terms of the return of capital and sustainable quarterly returns without providing an explanation of the key risks involved in the investment.
Of particular concern, the website did not explain that the funds invested are loaned to Investment Samaritan Pty Ltd, or of the risk that this company could default on the loan. Investment Samaritan Pty Ltd is reliant on a US-based companies identifying and sourcing distressed US credit card issuers and collecting credit card debts from US based consumers in order to meet its obligations to investors under the loan.
ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, ‘Advertisements for financial products and credit products should give a balanced message about the returns, features, benefits and risks associated with a product. ASIC will take action to address misleading or inaccurate advertising of investment opportunities to ensure investors are informed in their decision-making’.
Kovacs Property Group Pty Ltd had acted to revise the website once approached by ASIC and has co-operated to address ASIC’s concerns.