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A Cairns based car yard lender has been ordered by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission ("ASIC") and the Federal Court to pay $1.2 million in fines and costs.
Sole Director of Channic Pty Ltd and Cash Brokers Pty Ltd, Colin William Hulbert, was found to have breached consumer protection laws by charging vulnerable consumers 48% interest through his brokerage business for the purchase of used vehicles through his dealership Super Cheap Car Sales.
The initial complaint was bought to ASICs attention by the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network ("ICAN") as several of their clients indicated financial hardship as a result of the loans being offered. Operations Manager for ICAN, Jon O'Mally said in a statement, "It was obvious going through the client paperwork at the time that Channic hadn't assessed whether the loans were affordable to the consumers they were being peddled to."
Deputy Chairman of ASIC, Peter Kell said, "ASIC will take action where vulnerable people are deliberately targeted by lenders who engage in unconscionable conduct. We have a strong focus on lenders and financial services firms who push poor quality and unsuitable financial product to Indigenous consumers, particularly where they fail to meet responsible obligations."
In handing down the penalty, Justice Greenwood said, "The conduct represents a total disregard of important normative obligations case upon Channic and CBPL by the NCCP Act, all designed to protect consumers from entering into "unsuitable" credit contracts with all the financial stress and emotional worry associated with the consequences of having entered into such contracts."
The Federal Court fined Mr Hulbert a total of $776,000 for breaching consumer credit laws and awarded costs of $420,000
Source: ASIC Media Release 17-108MR