ASIC halts Pacific Blue service

Melbourne-based website hosting company, Pacific Blue Online, has stopped offering Swiss bank accounts over the Internet following intervention from financial regulators.

However, company director, Brett Anderson, said he hoped to restart his business again next month, offering more traditional web hosting services such as domain name registration, website design and e-commerce.

Anderson claimed he began offering Swiss bank accounts earlier this year after being approached by customers.

“They were business owners, a lot of different people," he said. "We did not have any idea of what they wanted to do with the money."

For $150, he would forward the customer details to a Swiss bank, which he declined to name. The bank would then contact the customer. Anderson also would not reveal how many customers had used Pacific Blue Online’s Swiss bank account service.

He did admit that online Swiss bank accounts were a novel service for a four-month-old web hosting company.

“We thought that ... [so] we contacted every single authority in Australia," Anderson said. "They said there was nothing wrong in this service. We had these clients; that’s why we started this service.”

However, when Anderson advertised the Pacific Blue service on April 21 in Melbourne's MX newspaper, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) became interested and began an investigation.

ASIC then obtained injunctive orders by consent from the Federal Court of Australia preventing Brett Anderson & Co Pty Ltd from offering to set up Swiss bank accounts for customers.

“ASIC said [we were] not legitimate enough to provide these services on the website,” Anderson said.

According to ASIC, Anderson’s company, trading as Pacific Blue Online, was offering a financial service without holding an Australian Financial Services Licence.

Anderson and fellow director, John Terlato of Dandenong North, Victoria, were ordered by the Federal Court to halt the service and provide customer and service-related details to ASIC, orders they have since complied with.

In addition, ASIC also claimed that advertising published in MX and on Pacific Blue Online’s website contained dishonest and deceptive statements about the Swiss Bank accounts.

It further claimed Anderson was disqualified from managing a corporation as a result of previous criminal convictions.

Anderson said he has taken down the company website and would no longer offer Swiss bank accounts because it was “too risky”. But he hoped to restore the company’s other services next month.

“We have to negotiate a deal with ASIC,” he said.

Anderson said his company maintained a head office in Florida, operating other US businesses.

He declined to identify who operated/owned them or what services they provided.

The case against Pacific Blue Online comes back before the courts on July 2.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?