Slater and Gordon has welcomed a decision by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission to intervene in the operations of Macquarie Equities on behalf of disgruntled investors who lost money due to bad financial advice.
Commercial litigation lawyer Mark Walter said Slater and Gordon was investigating a number of claims from Macquarie Equities clients who allege they lost money as a result of bad advice, including one who was left $500,000 out of pocket.
Mr Walter said recent revelations that a four-year investigation by Australia’s corporate regulator found evidence that Macquarie’s Private Wealth Division failed to give proper financial advice or keep adequate records were a positive development for investors.
“We certainly welcome ASIC’s intervention but it is not surprising given we have been approached by numerous disgruntled Macquarie clients who are dissatisfied with the services and advice provided to them,” Mr Walter said.
Mr Walter said ASIC’s intervention in the Macquarie matter could pave the way for a compensation scheme to help investors recoup losses.
“We recommend that anyone contemplating participation in any compensation scheme or negotiating with Macquarie seeks legal advice as our experience with similar compensation schemes shows that the organisation that is being made to pay up will always try to minimise its exposure so it is important that people understand their legal position,” he said.
Since the height of the Global Financial Crisis in 2009, Slater and Gordon has helped thousands of Australian investors, including a number of Macquarie clients, recoup millions of dollars lost to bad financial advice given in the lead-up to the downturn.
“Since the GFC, these types of claims have become very common and we expect the number of claims to grow significantly throughout 2013 as more Australians recognise that avenues exist for them to recoup funds lost to bad advice.”
Mr Walter said investors caught out by bad advice had six years from the date of receiving the advice to lodge a claim before their right to sue their advisors for negligence expires, meaning time is running out for many who invested in the years leading up to the GFC.
“In our experience, very few people have any sense that losses sustained due to bad financial advice are recoverable until they seek legal advice,” he said.