Some investors have written to the Australian National Review expressing their support for 21st Century Education and Property Group of Companies. They demanded ASIC to leave their land banking investment alone and mind their own business.
One investor questioned, “are we able to get contact information or an email for us (the investors) to express our disappointment in the way ASIC are carrying themselves in the situation?”
He went on to state:
“I think it would be a good idea to give the investors an email address to contact ASIC directly as I will be furious if they get in the way of what I thought was a brilliant strategy”.
Others have enquired about starting a class action against the ASIC if the corporate watchdog is successful at appointing provisional liquidators causing investors $5.5 million in losses.
Treasurer Joe Hockey has been asked to intervene and demand ASIC to stop such appalling tactics.
ASIC alleges that ‘property options’, despite being a perfectly legal and legitimate tool for investors to secure land, is a ‘financial product’. This would potentially require property vendors to acquire an Australian Financial Services license (AFSL) to issue them. ASIC is targeting 21st Century Property, the market leader in the sale of land options and one of the dozen companies that are part of 21st Century Group founded by outspoken financial educator turned political party founder Jamie McIntyre. McIntyre’s land projects reportedly have $1.5 billion in end value if rezoning and development proceeds.
It is expected the property industry will react furiously if ASIC is successful at setting a precedent in this matter as extensive legal advice 21st Century Group and others received under Financial Services law clearly shows that a property option is not a financial product.
A 21st Century Group representative confirmed that they are planning to defend the matter. “All investors had legal advice before acquiring a land option and the options come with a 100% money back guarantee in the unlikely event the projects don’t receive rezoning approvals within 20 years secured by a default charge over the land project. So option holders have protection which can only be undone by ASIC trying to appoint liquidators to cause deliberate losses to them”, said the representative.
According to Mr McIntyre, ASIC’s allegations are deliberately misleading in an attempt to frame him as part of a typical tall poppy witch-hunt.
Mr McIntyre said, “ASIC are trying to suggest ‘property options’, which are legal instruments and a legitimate way for investors to acquire land, are actually ‘financial products’. “Others, including myself would like to know when that law was changed, or is ASIC now inventing new property laws in their spare time?
“Using property options to secure land at today’s prices is perhaps the most effective way to solve Australia’s housing affordability problem. It can help future homebuyers to potentially afford entering the property market and increase the supply of land to the market. This strategy should be supported by the Government, and not targeted because of left wing agendas in Fairfax and the ASIC”, he said.
Mr McIntyre wrote a letter to Treasurer Joe Hockey asking for an urgent government audit into ASIC, as this isn’t an isolated case of ASIC’s gross incompetence. He asked for the Government to intervene and prevent ASIC from causing $5.5m in deliberate, premeditated and unnecessary losses to innocent investors.