Australian Mutual Holdings Limited (AMH) has paid $20,400 in penalties after ASIC issued two infringement notices for misleading statements in Product Disclosure Statements (PDS) for two investor funds it manages as responsible entity. Each infringement notice imposed a $10,200 penalty.
AMH is the responsible entity for Trident Global Growth Fund, which launched in 2010, and the Trident Income Plus Fund, which launched in 2013. ASIC was concerned that until October 2013, the PDSs contained misleading statements by claiming the majority of the funds’ assets were held by the funds’ custodian. In fact, the majority of the assets were held in an AMH trading account with the funds’ prime broker.
ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, ‘PDSs are key documents which investors use to make important financial decisions. They must be accurate.’
The payment of an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission Act 2001 consumer protection provisions. ASIC can issue an infringement notice where it has reasonable grounds to believe a person has contravened certain consumer protection laws.
ASIC has taken action against seven companies, including AMH, for misleading claims in 2014, with penalties totalling more than $140,000. The companies include: