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News in brief: ASIC; IMF and Opes Prime

News in brief: ASIC; IMF and Opes Prime

ASIC improves access to dispute resolution; IMF to challenge Opes Prime offer

ASIC improves access to dispute resolution

The competition and consumer watchdog has revamped consumer access to dispute resolution scheme in an effort to ensure disputes are resolved more quickly, as well as save time and money, it said today. The changes, due 2010 and 2012 respectively, will require schemes to deal with claims of up to $500,000, as well as increase the minimum amount of compensations for investment advice complaints to $280,000. “The increase in claim limits and compensation caps in EDR schemes will ensure many more consumers and retail investors will be able to bring their claims to [external dispute resolution] schemes, avoiding the expense of litigation,” said ASIC deputy chairman Jeremy Cooper.

IMF to challenge Opes Prime offer

Litigation funder IMF has indicated it is likely to oppose a scheme of settlement offer to Opes Prime creditors, which were proposed by lenders ANZ and Merrill Lynch, The Australian reports today. IMF is acting on behalf of 90 creditors, with claims of about $160 million. In court documents lodged on Friday, IMF describes part of the $253 million scheme of arrangement as misleading and unclear. IMF says Opes Prime liquidator John Lindholm should not be appointed as scheme administrator because under the Corporations Act the dual role is not allowed. 

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