Whangarei finance company in $945K settlement with Commission

Current and former borrowers of Whangarei-based finance company Profile Finance Limited will receive $945,334 in credits and refunds after Profile Finance signed a settlement agreement with the Commerce Commission.

The Commission began investigating Profile Finance in November 2017 after receiving a complaint. The investigation found that, between 6 June 2015 and 28 November 2017, Profile Finance did not provide all the key information to borrowers that is required under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 (CCCF Act), including:

  • the borrower’s rights to seek loan changes as a result of unforeseen hardship
  • the borrower’s right to cancel
  • Profile Finance’s financial service provider registration and dispute resolution scheme details
  • complete and accurate details of the security interest taken
  • the information required in continuing disclosure statements
  • in some contracts, the total amount of the payments including the $1.50 weekly administration fee.

Profile Finance was one of several companies that provided finance to customers purchasing goods at Melville’s Home Centre, a store in Whangarei which sells consumer electronics, appliances and furniture. Profile Finance entered into 2,119 affected loans during the relevant period.

“Profile Finance co-operated with our investigation and it acknowledges that it failed to properly disclose all required information in likely breach of the CCCF Act during the relevant period. It has updated its standard form disclosure statement and made corrective disclosure to borrowers,” said Commerce Commission Chair Anna Rawlings.

“Failure to provide full and proper disclosure of this information deprives borrowers of the ability to make informed decisions about borrowing money and about what to do if they get into difficulty during the term of the loan. All lenders should periodically check that they are complying with the very clear information disclosure requirements described in the CCCF Act,” said Ms Rawlings.

Profile Finance will be contacting affected borrowers.

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