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Thursday 23 May 2013

13-112MR ASIC concerns sees payday lender change advertising

Payday lender Nimble Australia Pty Ltd, previously known as Cash Doctors, has changed its advertising following ASIC concerns it was potentially misleading.

Nimble is one of Australia’s largest online payday lenders. In 2012 and early 2013 Nimble made statements both on its website and in the press that its credit contracts were ‘short term’. These statements did not clearly explain that the Nimble product was a continuing credit contract with an indefinite term.

ASIC was also concerned that statements Nimble made comparing its product with a credit card were inaccurate. Specifically, its website stated that a loan could not be redrawn unless it had been paid in full and that Nimble’s loans were different from a credit card in that respect.

In fact, Nimble’s loans can be redrawn before they are paid in full, much like a credit card and therefore consumers could just as easily be ‘locked down for months or years’ as Nimble represented was the case with credit cards.

‘Advertising must give clear, accurate and balanced messages about the features and benefits associated with credit products so consumers have realistic expectations and can make informed decisions,’ ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said.

Nimble has removed references to ‘short term’ and comparisons with other credit products from its website and will stop using continuing credit contracts at the end of June 2013.

If consumers have concerns about the way the Nimble product was explained to them, they can access the internal dispute resolution (IDR) procedures by calling Nimble on 07 5591 2850. If consumers are not satisfied with the outcome of IDR, they can make a complaint to the Credit Ombudsman Service Limited on 1800 138 422.

Background

ASIC released guidance on credit advertising in November 2012 (refer: 12-282MR).

Previous ASIC actions over potentially false and misleading ads include:

  • 13-088MR Fair Finance Australia pays infringement notice penalty

  • 12-198MR GE Money changes personal loan online advertising

  • 12-197MR ASIC takes action on payday loan advertising

  • 12-153MR RAMS changes advertising in response to ASIC concerns

  • 12-73AD HSBC to change home loan advertising

Last updated: 23/05/2013 12:00