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12-197MR ASIC takes action on payday loan advertising
Cash Today Pty Ltd has changed the advertising of its low value short-term loans on its website following ASIC concerns about its failure to disclose interest rates appropriately.
Cash Today’s website advertised the regular repayment amounts on loans, in some cases without disclosing what interest rate would apply. In other cases, while rates were disclosed, they were not expressed as annual percentage rates, as required by the National Consumer Credit Protection Act.
Following ASIC’s concerns, Cash Today changed its website advertising.
‘If advertisements refer to loan repayment amounts, interest rate disclosure is required. This is important as consumers need this information in order to compare different loans,’ ASIC Commissioner Peter Kell said.
‘ASIC will continue to make sure that consumers are informed in a way that allows them to make the best possible decisions,’ he said.
ASIC acknowledges Cash Today's cooperation in changing the advertising.
ASIC issued guidance to help promoters comply with their legal obligations when advertising financial products and services in February 2012 - Regulatory Guide 234 Advertising financial products and advice services: Good practice guidance (RG 234).
ASIC recently consulted on more detailed guidance for credit - Consultation Paper 178 Advertising credit products and credit services: Additional good practice guidance (CP 178) - and we plan to release updated regulatory guidance in October 2012.
An advertisement stating the amount of any loan repayment must also include the annual percentage rate, expressed as a nominal percentage rate per annum, and information about credit fees and charges if they are payable.