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ASIC freezes investment firm’s assets

ASIC Brite Advisors investment platform

ASIC has successfully applied to the Federal Court to freeze the assets of a company that provides SMSF investment services after it failed to provide financial statements and auditor reports.  

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has succeeded in obtaining an interim court order to freeze the assets and funds of financial services firm Brite Advisors Pty Ltd due to the company’s failure to lodge documentation in a timely manner.

Brite Advisors specialises in United Kingdom pension administration for expatriates abroad, offering advisory, pension management and asset management services to clients based in Australia, the UK, the United States and Hong Kong, and an investment platform for SMSFs and self-invested personal pension providers.

The corporate watchdog’s decision to take action against Brite Advisors was prompted by the company’s failure to fulfil its fundamental regulatory obligations concerning the timely submission of required documentation and follows a successful application ASIC made to the Federal Court in Perth in October.

“The current financial position of Brite is unknown as Brite has failed to lodge with ASIC its financial statements and auditor’s report for the financial year ended 30 June 2022 and the value of Brite’s funds under management has not been reported by any entity within the Brite Group in an audited balance sheet since December 2019,” ASIC stated.

“ASIC sought the orders to help protect the beneficiaries of the assets under management by Brite, including the beneficiaries of those who have their pensions or superannuation funds invested on the Brite platform.”

In issuing the court order, Justice Banks-Smith directed Brite Advisors to refrain from removing property from Australia, diminishing the value of any of its property, incurring new liabilities and withdrawing or transferring any monies available in any account with any financial institution in Australia and elsewhere.

The regulator’s actions were invoked under section 1323 of the Corporations Act 2001 and these orders will remain in effect until a further hearing scheduled for 9 November.

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