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11-174MR Credit licensees warned against misuse of ASIC name and logo
ASIC has today warned businesses and companies licensed by ASIC to not use the ASIC name or logo when promoting their businesses or the fact that they hold a licence with ASIC.
The warning is targeted to holders of an Australian credit licence who have recently come under ASIC’s regulatory responsibility for the first time. It follows a credit provider voluntarily agreeing to stop using ASIC’s name and logo on its website after ASIC found the use of the name and logo breached its intellectual property and was potentially misleading.
‘The National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act) and the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) prescribe the information and documents that credit licensees and Australian financial services licensees respectively must include about their licence. This is an important part of informing consumers that they are dealing with a licensed and regulated entity,’ said ASIC Commissioner Dr Peter Boxall.
‘However, ASIC is concerned that use of the ASIC name and logo in conjunction with these identification requirements could cause consumers to believe the business or company is in some way endorsed or approved by ASIC.
‘ASIC reminds licensees that the correct way to inform the public that they hold a credit licence is to display the Australian credit licence number. Credit licensees must include their credit licence number in certain prescribed documents, including advertisements, from 1 April 2012. Licensees should have started the process of updating documentation which identifies them as holders of an Australian credit licence to avoid breaching the National Credit Act,’ Dr Boxall added.
More information about displaying an Australian credit licence number is contained in Getting a credit licence ([INFO 103]), which is available from the ASIC website at www.asic.gov.au.
ASIC also reminds consumers obtaining credit or seeking credit advice that they should only deal with credit licensees or their authorised representatives. Consumers can conduct a quick and easy check on the ASIC website.
Complaints concerning individuals or companies suspected of misusing ASIC’s name or logo, or trading without a credit licence or authorisation, may be lodged with ASIC via the website (misconduct and breach reporting) or by writing to any of our capital city offices across Australia at:
ASIC Misconduct and Breach Reporting Australian Securities and Investments Commission GPO Box 9827 IN YOUR CAPITAL CITY