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16-116MR ASIC permanently bans finance broker
ASIC has permanently banned former Perth-based finance broker Mrs Julie Maree Vanzyl from engaging in credit activities and providing financial services.
ASIC found that Mrs Vanzyl, of Coimadai, Victoria, engaged in dishonest and misleading conduct when brokering motor vehicle financing for three clients in 2012. At the time, Mrs Vanzyl was employed as a finance broker for Get Approved Finance of Victoria Park in Western Australia.
Get Approved Finance was the trading name of Western Australia-based finance broker Jeremy (WA) Pty Ltd, and operated under its credit licence.
Mrs Vanzyl misled vulnerable clients with poor credit histories to believe they would be approved for vehicle finance if their loan applications were supported by guarantors. Mrs Vanzyl then dishonestly prepared loan applications solely in the names of the proposed guarantors without those persons' knowledge or consent. As a result, Esanda, as the credit provider, financed automotive loans which it otherwise was unlikely to have approved.
ASIC also found that Mrs Vanzyl inflated loan amounts by selling and financing insurance products without her clients' knowledge or consent, and misled Esanda about the existence of insurance policies for clients who were settling loans.
ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said the banning sends a strong message to any broker considering dishonest behaviour. 'ASIC will not hesitate to permanently remove those who engage in dishonest and misleading conduct from the industry,' Mr Kell said.
Mrs Vanzyl has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.
Two former Get Approved finance brokers, Mr Eric-John Pryor and Mr Lachlan McDonald were also permanently banned (15-189MR) and Ms Rana Hepi banned for eight years (15-374MR) from engaging in credit activities or providing any financial services for similar conduct whilst arranging vehicle finance for clients.
In October 2015 Esanda agreed to compensate more than 70 borrowers for car loans organised by Get Approved Finance. The total value of the loans financed was more than $1.38 million (15-312MR).
ASIC's investigation into the conduct of Get Approved Finance and Esanda is ongoing.
ASIC is also continuing to review the sale of insurance products sold in connection with car finance by Get Approved Finance.
For the duration of Mrs Vanzyl's employment at Jeremy WA Pty Ltd, Esanda was a division of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.
ASIC has published Regulatory Guide 218 Licensing: Administrative action against persons engaged in credit activities (RG 218) and Regulatory Guide 98 Licensing: Administrative action against financial services providers (RG 98). These regulatory guides provide guidance for persons engaging in credit activities and providing financial services on the administrative powers ASIC uses to enforce the credit and financial services legislation. It describes the administrative actions available to ASIC, and indicates the matters ASIC generally takes into account when exercising these powers. The guide explains how ASIC approaches the task of protecting the public and reinforcing the integrity and reputation of the consumer credit and financial services industries.
ASIC has published a recent report about the sale of add-on insurance products sold in connection with car finance.
ASIC's report Buying add-on insurance in car yards: Why it can be hard to say no (REP 470) analysed qualitative research on the experience of consumers who had been sold add-on insurance by car dealers. It found that many consumers who purchased these products:
- had no awareness of add-ons, including their value, before entering the car yard; and
- had already invested large amounts of time, energy and mental effort in buying the car and so, by the time they were offered the add-ons, found it hard to say no to the offer of add-on insurance.