ASIC has banned a Perth-based motor vehicle finance broker for eight years for misleading financially vulnerable consumers.
Rana Turkington Hepi, of Port Kennedy, Western Australia, has been banned from industry after an ASIC investigation found she had engaged in dishonest and misleading conduct organising motor vehicle finance for at least three clients between June 2012 and September 2013.
At the time of the conduct, Hepi was employed as a finance broker for Get Approved Finance of Victoria Park. Get Approved Finance was the trading name of Western Australia-based finance broker Jeremy (WA) Pty Ltd, and operated under its credit licence.
According to ASIC, Hepi misled vulnerable clients with poor credit histories to believe they would be approved for vehicle finance if their loan applications were supported by guarantors. She 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 Hepi has created fictitious documents and identification, lied about the make and model of the vehicles to be financed, inflated loan amount and fabricated insurance policies.
ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said the banning sends a strong message to any broker considering behaving dishonestly or recklessly.
“ASIC will not hesitate to remove those who engage in dishonest and misleading conduct from the industry for a significant period of time.”
Hepi has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.
Two former Get Approved Finance brokers and colleagues of Hepi, Eric-John Pryor and Lachlan McDonald were permanently banned earlier this year 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.