Real estate group Du Val says its mortgage fund ads are not misleading


Du Val is challenging last year’s order from the Financial Markets Authority to remove ads that the FMA said were likely to mislead mortgage fund investors. Photo / Georges Novak

A lawyer for local property company Du Val Group told the High Court that its social media adverts were not misleading.

The company is challenging last year’s order from the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) to remove the ads because they were likely to mislead investors.

When the FMA ordered Du Val to pull its ads for its mortgage fund, it said the company made misleading claims about ‘zero fees’ when in fact it kept all profits above yield fixed rate of 10% which was paid to investors.

He also said that while the company used the wholesale investor exclusion, which is designed for investors considered very experienced and/or well-funded, Du Val appeared to be using social media to target less experienced investors.

Du Val’s solicitor, Davey Salmon QC, told the Auckland High Court this morning that similar claims about charges were made by banks all the time and that wholesale investors understood that any company that accepted a deposit did so for profit.

“The suggestion that it is misleading to say ‘no fees’ when it is obviously an obvious part of the New Zealand trading system that all deposit takers have notice of profit and fees are understood as items withdrawn from their account which reduce their apparent interest earned, this is not a meaning that words are capable of having. It is not an interpretation capable of saying that it is misleading.

He also said there was nothing misleading about targeted ads seen by the general public, which happened all the time, such as an ad for agricultural products or a motor car claiming to be the most effective and efficient. powerful in its class.

“Some newbies who aren’t into cars like me don’t know what that means. I have no idea what class is, I see the ads all the time. That might make me think it’s It’s more efficient than it is, because it’s in a class of highly inefficient motor vehicles.

“But the people who show up and buy these things are in a different industry than the newbies who don’t buy cars.”

At the time of writing the report, the Autorité des marchés financiers was just beginning its submission.

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