The success of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in its Federal Court action against Cigno Pty Ltd (Cigno) and BHF Solutions Pty Ltd (BHF Solutions), is good news which we hope will be the final ‘nail in the coffin’ for these predatory lenders.
So said Consumer Action CEO Stephanie Tonkin on hearing the Federal Court finding Friday that Cigno and BHF Solutions engaged in credit activities without holding an Australian credit licence.
“Predatory behaviour from unlicenced loan sharks is never acceptable, and in today’s cost-of-living crisis it puts families and children at further risk of insurmountable debt as they struggle to pay the bills, said Ms Tonkin
ASIC also obtained permanent injunctions against Cigno and BHF Solutions to protect consumers.
The decision follows a series of appeals during the litigation, including an unsuccessful bid by Cigno and BHF Solutions for special leave in the High Court late last year.
“We still hear weekly from Cigno clients, who are on Centrelink or very low incomes, with legacy loans, who have been lured into financially harmful debt cycles. The persistent problem is that these clients start with very small loans, only then to be confronted with eye-boggling demands for interest and penalty fees that they will never be able to pay off,” said Ms Tonkin.
“ASIC’s tough action is welcomed, and the quicker these types of unlicensed predatory lenders are put out of business the more protected people experiencing financial disadvantage will be ,” Ms Tonkin said.
Media Contact: Mark Pearce Tel :0413 299 567 E: Mark@consumeraction.org.au