One of Australia's major banks is being sued for breaches of the law in relation to its loan referral program.
The corporate regulator, ASIC, has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against NAB for breaches of the law related to the bank’s loan “introducer” program.
The case relates to failures with NAB’s introducer program. This is a referral program operated by NAB, whereby a third-party identifies and refers a potential customer to the major bank in exchange for commission.
According to a statement released today by ASIC, the proceedings relate to the conduct of 16 bankers accepting loan information and documentation from 25 unlicensed introducers in relation to 297 loans.
ASIC is alleging that between 3 September 2013 and 29 July 2016, NAB accepted information and documents in support of consumer loan applications from third-party introducers who were not licensed to engage in credit activity.
Consequently, ASIC is alleging that NAB breached the National Credit Act, which prohibits credit licensees from conducting business with parties engaging in credit activity without an Australian credit licence.
Further, ASIC is alleging that NAB breached its obligations under the act which requires operators to engage in credit activities efficiently, honestly and fairly.
ASIC said it is asking the Federal Court to find that NAB breached the National Credit Act and to impose a civil penalty on NAB for doing so.
The maximum penalty for one breach of relevant to this case during the time of contravention, was 10,000 penalty units, or $1.7 to $1.8 million.
Earlier this week, ASIC confirmed a former NAB branch manager was found to have made false and misleading statements to NAB in relation to 24 home loan applications.
You can read ASIC’s full statement, and background information, here.