12-76AD ASIC takes action on car finance advertising under credit legislation
Monday 23 April 2012
The company behind Brisbane’s Cheapest Commodores (BCC) has agreed to amend the advertising for its car finance offers in response to concerns raised by ASIC.
Peter Barratt Pty Ltd, which has six BCC car yards across Brisbane, promised ‘Guaranteed Finance’ via its website and other promotional material. ASIC was concerned that this claim was either:
misleading because the company did not in fact guarantee to provide finance regardless of the customer’s financial circumstances, or
if the company did provide such a guarantee, that it was in breach of the responsible lending obligations under the National Consumer Credit Protection (NCCP) Act.
The NCCP Act prohibits lenders offering credit to a customer if at the time the credit is provided it is likely that the customer would be unable to make the repayments or could only do so with substantial hardship.
As a result of ASIC’s intervention, Brisbane’s Cheapest Commodores will ensure:
publication of any advertisement for loan products containing the term ‘Guaranteed Finance’ will cease, and
all future advertising will not include the term 'Guaranteed Finance'.
‘Advertisements for car finance, or any credit product or service, must be accurate and balanced to ensure they don’t create unrealistic expectations. This is an important priority for ASIC as we work to help consumers make confident and informed financial decisions without being compromised by misleading advertising’, ASIC Commissioner, Peter Kell said.
This action follows the recent release of ASIC guidance to help promoters comply with their legal obligations when advertising financial products and services. See ASIC Regulatory Guide 234 Advertising financial products and advice services: Good practice guidance (RG 234) for more information.
ASIC acknowledges the cooperation of Brisbane’s Cheapest Commodores in responding to and resolving these issues.