12-249MR Sydney mortgage broker banned, Australian credit licence cancelled
Wednesday 10 October 2012
Mr Athol Halvorsen, a Sydney-based mortgage broker, has been banned from engaging in credit activities and from providing financial services for six years after it was found that he had engaged in conduct that was false and misleading.
An ASIC investigation found that from 2005 to 2008, while working for Sydney Mortgage Market, Mr Halvorsen acted as a broker for people seeking loans to invest in a financial scheme. It was found that Mr Halvorsen submitted nine loan applications to either Perpetual Ltd or to St George Bank which contained information that was false and misleading about the income and employment of the borrowers
In one instance, it was found that Mr Halvorsen had replaced a loan application that had been filled out by the borrowers with another loan application. The replacement loan application was submitted to St George Bank by Mr Halvorsen and included only two pages of the form completed by the borrowers. Those two pages had been signed by the borrowers.
The original loan application completed by the borrowers and containing the correct information relating to the income and employment of the borrowers was not submitted to St George Bank. According to the replacement loan application, which was submitted to St George Bank, one of the borrowers was earning $90,000 per year when, in fact, at the time the loan application was submitted, she was not working and had no income.
In another instance, Mr Halvorsen told St George Bank that the borrowers had not yet retired when, in fact, they had retired. Mr Halvorsen had been made aware of this fact by the borrowers.
ASIC has also cancelled the Australian credit licence held by Property and Gearing.Com Pty Ltd, previously known as Australian Finance Club Pty Ltd. While Mr Halvorsen is not a director of Property and Gearing.Com, ASIC has found that he acts as its senior manager and is largely responsible for the administration of its licence.
ASIC banned Mr Halvorsen from providing financial services for six years after finding he engaged in conduct that was misleading and deceptive, or likely to mislead and deceive, in relation to the submission of loan applications and by promoting that Australian Finance Club could provide financial services on its website without also stating that it did not hold an Australian financial services licence.
Australian Finance Club changed its name to Property and Gearing.Com Pty Ltd on 30 August 2012.
Mr Halvorsen and Property and Gearing.Com Pty Ltd have a right to a review of ASIC’s decisions by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.