A Sydney director has copped the first civil penalty under the National Credit Act, in a verdict being trumpeted by ASIC as an example of its tenacity in enforcing the new credit laws.
ASIC said the Federal Court in Sydney ordered Nathan Elali, of South Hurstville, to pay a penalty of $7500 after his former company was found to have advertised that it could provide credit despite being unlicensed.
Elali was the sole director of a company formerly known as EasyChoice Home Loans. The company advertised for more than a year it could provide home and investment property loans, while not having an ACL.
Despite repeated warnings by ASIC to remove the advertising, ASIC says that the company did not respond. The material was removed only after ASIC had commenced court action.
ASIC Commissioner Peter Kell said where ASIC identifies a possible breach of the consumer credit laws, it will first often require the company to take action to ensure the contravention ceases.
"If the company fails to comply, we are prepared to commence civil penalty proceedings as part of our approach to enforcement," Kell said.