Storm collapse destroyed lives

LIKE many of the 21 witnesses giving evidence in the case against Storm Financial, Paul Henry Beesley had paid off his home and was looking for a way to "live self-sufficiently" and "be happy" until he died.

The 59-year-old Townsville father of two had "no experience in borrowing to invest or investing in the stock market" before his involvement with the financial company which left hundreds of investors in financial ruin when it collapsed in 2008.

He had a combined income with his wife of $156,000, assets worth $500,000 and a small superannuation fund when he met with Storm.

Australian Securities and Investment Commission barrister David Robinson told the Federal Court in Brisbane on Tuesday that Mr Beesley fit a pattern the judge would see among all investor witnesses.

ASIC is arguing Storm ran an unregistered managed investment scheme and pursuing Macquarie Bank and Bank of Queensland for being knowingly involved.

The banks deny the allegations, arguing Storm was not running a scheme.

ASIC has told the court many of the retired or near retired investors owned unencumbered houses and had reasonable assets when they invested in Storm but collectively lost billions when the market fell.

The corporate watchdog is narrowing in on the banks' relationship with Storm, to offer lower interest rates and higher borrowing levels to their clients.

Mr Robinson told Justice John Reeves he would see the documents Mr Beesley filled out were almost carbon copies for the forms used for the other 20 investor witnesses.

"The scheme was one that was mass produced and documents follow a trend, a pattern," he said.

The trial continues.

Topics:  asic economy federal court investment stock market storm financial

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