Watchdog guns for Qld mortgage broker

ASIC is seeking a Supreme Court order to stop a mortgage broker's unauthorised business.
ASIC is seeking a Supreme Court order to stop a mortgage broker's unauthorised business.

A Queensland mortgage broker is accused of acting as an unlicensed financial adviser when he channelled superannuation clients into property development investments for a fee.

The corporate watchdog says Richard Anthony Gardner and his Advanced Wealth Financial Services was providing financial services with no licence or authorisation.

The Australian Investments and Securities Commission says in a statement he set up self-managed superannuation funds to build or purchase new investment properties using specific developers.

The property developers and builders then paid Mr Gardner a fee for the business referral.

The watchdog has begun court proceedings against Mr Gardner and his Brisbane firm.

Mr Gardner and Advanced Wealth Financial Services are not licensed nor authorised to provide financial services, only credit services, ASIC says.

ASIC will seek a court order at the Brisbane Supreme Court on February 12 to stop the unauthorised business.

Mr Gardner says he's not a financial adviser but a mortgage broker who recommended his clients to SMSF specialists.

"If the client wanted to build a property inside their super fund I would go out and do all the homework for them, I'd source the land and house and everything else," he told AAP.

"The builders would pay me (real estate) commissions on the build, which was fully disclosed to the clients and is legal."

Mr Gardner says he is working with ASIC to improve his company's website to better communicate the service he offers and has agreed not to provide financial planning services in future.

Australian Associated Press