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15-352MR ASIC permanently bans former NSW credit representative
ASIC has permanently banned former credit representative Tony Nguyen from the credit industry.
Mr Nguyen, of Bankstown, New South Wales, is banned from engaging in credit activities on the basis that he had contravened and was likely to contravene the credit legislation and was not a fit and proper person to engage in credit activities. His conduct involved multiple breaches of the credit legislation and was considered serious, repeated, and dishonest.
An ASIC investigation found that between about September 2013 and February 2014, Mr Nguyen gave 8 loan applications and 30 supporting documents to a lender which contained false information about the clients' income and employment. Among the false supporting documents were:
1. 13 payslips and 5 PAYG payment summaries stating that his clients worked for companies they had never worked for;
2. 2 payslips stating that the client earned a gross annual salary of $79,706 as a warehouse assistant when in fact he earned about $38,000 gross per year; and
3. a notice of assessment, an income tax return and an income tax return estimate stating the client earned a taxable income of $273,998 from a nail beauty salon in Fairfield West when in fact the client earned about $50,000 and owned a nail beauty salon in Gosford.
ASIC also found that Mr Nguyen was acting as an unauthorised mortgage broker because he provided credit assistance at a time when he was not authorised to do so by an Australian credit licensee. Mr Nguyen was a 'referral partner', and was engaged to refer or introduce clients to a lender but was not authorised to provide credit assistance by suggesting or assisting his clients to enter into particular loan products.
ASIC also found that Mr Nguyen had held out to customers that he held an Australian credit licence when he arranged for 6 of his clients to sign introduction letters, and then gave those letters to a lender. Mr Nguyen has never held an Australian credit licence.
Mr Nguyen has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review of ASIC's decision.
ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said 'This outcome demonstrates ASIC's ongoing commitment to tackling misconduct in the credit industry.'
Since 1 July 2010, ASIC has been responsible for the national licensing scheme for people engaging in credit activities.
Since becoming the national regulator of consumer credit in 2010, ASIC has banned 61 individuals or companies from providing credit services or had their credit licences revoked (including 27 permanent bans and 14 cancellations or suspensions) in relation to false loans.
ASIC has published Regulatory Guide 203 Do I need a credit licence? (RG 203) which provides guidance as to when people need to acquire an Australian credit licence to engage in credit activities. RG 203 also provides guidance about exemptions from the requirement to the need to hold an Australian credit licence. For example, where you refer a consumer to another person who is licensed or authorised to engage in credit activities, help the consumer to get in contact with that other person, and are able to meet certain conditions.
Editor's note 1:
On 1 December 2015, Mr Nguyen lodged an appeal in the AAT for review of ASIC's decision.
Editor's note 2:
On 21 June 2017 the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) reduced the banning period for Mr Nguyen from permanent to four years (refer: 17-213MR)