ASIC investigation into Mayfair 101/Mayfair Platinum
ASIC will update this webpage when important steps take place in relation to this matter. We suggest you visit this page regularly for updates.
17 April 2020 – Federal court restrains Mayfair 101 and Mayfair Platinum from promoting debenture products and using prohibited phrases in advertising
On 16 April 2020, the Federal Court made interim orders restraining Mayfair Wealth Partners Pty Ltd (Mayfair Platinum) and Online Investments Pty Ltd (Mayfair 101) from promoting their debenture products and prohibiting the use of specific words and phrases in their advertising.
Mayfair Platinum and Mayfair 101 promote M+ Fixed Income Notes and M Core Fixed Income Notes, their debenture products available to wholesale investors (Mayfair debenture products). Payment of redemptions of capital to investors in the Mayfair debenture products was suspended on 11 March 2020 due to liquidity issues.
On 16 April 2020, Justice Anderson of the Federal Court restrained Mayfair Platinum and Mayfair 101, until further order, from:
- All advertising, promotion and marketing of the Mayfair debenture products; and
- Using the below prohibited phrases in any advertising, promotion or marketing of any products, including on their websites and through sponsored link advertising, including, via Google AdWords and Bing Ads:
- “term deposit”;
- “bank deposit”;
- “capital growth”;
- “fixed term”; and
- “term investment”.
The Court also ordered that Mayfair Platinum and Mayfair 101 must post the following notice on their websites, and give a copy of the following notice to each prospective new investor in the Mayfair debenture products:
“The Mayfair 101 Group of companies reminds investors prior to investing in the products offered by the Mayfair 101 Group that:
- Mayfair 101 is not a bank, and nor are any of the companies in the Mayfair 101 Group. Therefore, the Mayfair 101 Group is not regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and investment in its products is not covered by the Australian Government’s Financial Claims Scheme (colloquially known as the ‘Government Bank Guarantee’ which covers deposits up to A$250,000 per depositor, per bank).
- As with all investment products, there are risks in investing in the Mayfair 101 Group’s products.
- Investing in the products offered by the Mayfair 101 Group is not the same as depositing money in a term deposit offered by a bank. Investing in Mayfair 101 Group products has a higher level of risk compared to investing in a bank term deposit.
- In certain circumstances, the Mayfair 101 Group can exercise the right to suspend some or all redemptions at the end of the fixed term. The Mayfair 101 Group exercised this right on 11 March 2020. As such, all redemptions are currently suspended until such time as management agrees to lift the suspension and process redemptions. Your investment in the products offered by the Mayfair 101 Group may also be subject to suspension of some or all redemptions at the end of the fixed term. This is a risk that you should take into account.”
For more information:
6 April 2020 – ASIC commences proceedings against Mayfair 101 and Mayfair Platinum for misleading or deceptive advertising
On 3 April 2020, ASIC commenced proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against companies in the Mayfair 101 group, alleging that its advertisements, promoted on Mayfair’s websites and in online media, are misleading or deceptive.
Mayfair Wealth Partners Pty Ltd, trading as Mayfair Platinum, and Online Investments Pty Ltd, trading as Mayfair 101, promote two debenture products to wholesale investors (Mayfair debenture products):
- M+ Fixed Income Notes, which are unsecured promissory notes issued by M101 Holdings Pty Ltd; and
- M Core Fixed Income Notes, which are secured promissory notes issued by M101 Nominees Pty Ltd.
ASIC alleges that Mayfair Platinum and Mayfair 101 made statements that were false, misleading or deceptive by representing that:
- Mayfair debenture products are comparable to bank terms deposits, and have a similar risk profile to bank term deposits, when they are debentures with a significantly higher risk profile;
- the principal investment will be repaid in full on maturity, when investors may not receive capital repayments on maturity or at all, and because Mayfair could elect to extend the time for repayment for an indefinite period;
- Mayfair debenture products were specifically designed for people seeking “certainty and confidence in their investments”, when investors may not receive interest and/or capital repayments, and could lose some, or all, of their investment; and
- Mayfair debenture products provide capital growth opportunities, when they do not.
ASIC is seeking injunctions to restrain the publication of statements of this kind, and pecuniary penalties in relation to the alleged false or misleading representations.
On 11 March 2020, Mayfair Platinum suspended payment of capital redemptions to investors in the Mayfair debenture products due to liquidity issues. In light of this, ASIC is also seeking an interim injunction to restrain the defendants from promoting and issuing the Mayfair products while redemptions to existing investors remain suspended. ASIC’s application for an injunction will be heard by the Federal Court on 14 April 2020 at 9.30am.
For more information please see ASIC’s media release issued on 6 April 2020 (20-080MR).
Editor’s note 1: The hearing of ASIC’s interlocutory application has been adjourned to Thursday 16 April 2020 at 9.30am.
Editor’s note 2: The matter has been set down for hearing commencing on 28 September 2020.
Information for investors in the M+ Fixed Income Notes and M Core Fixed Income Notes
- What should I do if I have invested in the Mayfair debenture products?
- You should consider whether the investment continues to be suitable for your circumstances. You may wish to seek independent financial advice.
- Investors are advised to be wary of investments that claim they are an alternative to a bank ‘term deposit’. If an investment provides higher returns than a term deposit, it is likely to be higher risk.
- Contact the product issuer, Mayfair Platinum.
- You should ensure you fully understand how to end the investment and the deadline for giving any notice to do so.
- From March 2020, Mayfair Platinum has suspended redemptions of the Mayfair debenture products for investors whose investments have matured. It is up to Mayfair Platinum to decide when it will resume paying redemptions.
- Investors can still make a request to Mayfair Platinum to exit their investment despite redemptions having been suspended.
- Yes. The licensee of the M+ Fixed Income Notes and M Core Fixed Income Notes, Quattro Capital Group Pty Ltd, is a member of AFCA, therefore AFCA has the power to hear complaints about the Mayfair debenture products.
- Investors in the Mayfair debenture products who have suffered financial loss or who have other concerns may choose to make a complaint to AFCA.
- Before contacting AFCA, investors should first raise their concerns directly with Mayfair Platinum.
- For more information, please refer to ASIC Information Sheet 174 Disputes with Financial Firms
- AFCA can be contacted on 1800 931 678. The service is free to access.
Reporting information to ASIC
Consumers that have concerns about their dealings with the Mayfair 101 group can lodge a report of misconduct with ASIC.