ASIC has taken court action against Green County Pty Ltd and Max Funding Pty Ltd for alleged unlicensed credit activity and other breaches of consumer credit laws.
ASIC alleges that Green County and Max Funding failed to make reasonable inquiries about the purpose of loans, which led to Green County providing personal loans to certain borrowers. Neither Green County nor Max Funding were licensed to provide personal loans or act as an intermediary. ASIC alleges that this resulted in these vulnerable consumers not having the benefit of important protections under the Code and being charged more for their loans than they lawfully should.
ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court said, ‘The Credit Act provides important safeguards for consumers who apply for personal loans to protect consumers from unfair lending practices. If you are prohibited from providing a certain type of loan because you are not licensed, it is ASIC’s expectation that there are processes in place to help ensure those loans are not provided.’
ASIC also claims that Ivy Tang Gy Ng breached her duty of care and diligence as a director or officer of these companies and ought to have taken reasonable measures to avoid the companies breaching the Credit Act and the Code.
ASIC further alleges that Green County contravened the consumer protection provisions in the Code by:
exceeding the 48% annual cost rate cap for certain credit contracts;
failing to specify the annual percentage rates for certain credit contracts; and
failing to specify the total interest payable for certain credit contracts.
‘ASIC’s allegations of providing personal loans without the proper licence and breaching directors’ duties are serious. Directors and officers have a fundamental responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure that their organisations have systems in place to comply with the law,’ concluded Ms Court.
ASIC is seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties, injunctions, disqualification orders and other orders from the Court.
The proceeding is to be listed for case management on a date to be determined by the Court.