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Allegations raised about 'lender of last resort'

by Staff Reporter7 minute read
The Adviser

ABC television has raised questions about the ethics of a Sydney “mortgage trading business”.

Four Corners reported last night on the affairs of Commercial Mortgage Trade, a company that helps troubled businesses refinance their debts.

The program alleged that owner Ian Lazar “targets people in financial difficulty” and that the “second tier financial market” in which he operates is “largely ignored” by ASIC.

“He offers to help them out of trouble and talks up his access to a multi-billion-dollar fund that can buy out distressed mortgages,” according to the ABC.

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“Mr Lazar introduces his clients to solicitors, accountants and insolvency practitioners, but there are serious questions about the credibility of some of these advisers.

“There are similar questions about exorbitant fees Mr Lazar charges and what work he actually performs to justify them.

“Among his victims are graziers, small business owners, Aboriginal communities and even high-profile entertainment identities.

Mr Lazar told the ABC that attacks on his business model were unfair.

"I'm in a very complex business that people just don't get," he said. "Why others don't do it, I'm not sure."

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