Recently we have received hardship applications requesting to access funds outside of the investment terms. Below we explain the regulations in regards to ‘hardship’, and why we cannot circumvent the process.
The Regulations behind the Clause: When Uniting Church SA Investment Fund Limited (trading as UC Invest) applied for an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) in 2018, we were required to comply with certain
conditions in order to have the privilege to operate under an AFSL. Without this license, UC Invest could not have continued offering investment services to the Uniting Church community.
One of our conditions set by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission is that we are not permitted to grant Retail investors access to funds any sooner than a required 31-day waiting period—once an official withdrawal notification has been received. Any actions that return funds to investors within a shorter timeframe would be considered in violation of the conditions of our AFSL and could lead to our AFSL being revoked.
Hardship. What is it? The only exception for releasing monies sooner than 31 days is under a condition referred to as Hardship—meaning, on compassionate grounds funds can be released.
In the last year, we have received a number of applications requesting relief from the required 31-day waiting period. We have been able to approve many of our investors’ Hardship applications, as the circumstances outlined fulfilled what Regulators would agree to be ‘hardship’ issues, such as urgent medical expenses or other emergency-related situations.
There have also been applications that did not fulfil the ‘hardship’ definition. These reasons included seeking early redemption for discounts on advance holiday bookings, or towards the purchase of a new car. These applications were not approved and funds were not able to be released early.
As you can appreciate, some situations fall into a greyer area and require a thorough review of the information—and in some cases further investigation.
The staff of UC Invest strive to be considerate and helpful with all our Investor’s needs. We must however also operate within the regulations handed down from all Government entities. To have our License revoked would not be in the Church community’s best interests, and therefore we must continue to review Hardship applications appropriately.
If you have any questions about filing a Hardship application, please contact 1300 274 151. We thank you for your continued investment with UC Invest.