Media Releases

Commerce Commission prosecutes Twenty Fifty Club

24 April 2015

Twenty Fifty Club Ltd and its sole director Gavin John Marsich have today appeared in the Manukau District Court facing 17 charges in relation to its pay-day loans business.

The Commission began investigating Twenty Fifty Club in December 2013 after receiving a complaint from the public. The resulting 17 charges laid include:

  • Failing to supply information required by the Commission under section 98 of the Commerce Act and section 47G of the Fair Trading Act
  • Failing to disclose required information about the loans under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003
  • Charging unreasonable default and establishment fees
  • Purporting to contract out of the Credit (Repossession Act) 1997
  • Falsely claiming to be a registered financial services provider and member of the Financial Services Complaints Limited dispute resolution scheme
  • Illegally repossessing a debtor’s vehicle.

Commissioner Anna Rawlings said the charges laid against Twenty Fifty Club and Mr Marsich provide an example of lending practices targeting vulnerable consumers which concern the Commission.

“We are paying close attention to lenders in vulnerable communities and won’t hesitate to prosecute anyone we believe is charging unreasonable fees, misrepresenting debtors’ rights and attempting to circumvent their own legal obligations. Cases like this serve as a timely reminder for consumers to contact us if they have concerns about lenders.”

The case was adjourned for a trial callover on May 15 when a trial date will be set.

As this case is before the courts, the Commission is unable to comment further.

Background

The charges the Commission has laid against Twenty Fifty Club and Mr Marsich are separate to criminal charges brought by the Police against Mr Marsich, relating to allegations he threatened a debtor with a meat cleaver when attempting to collect overdue loans. His trial on those charges has been set down for June this year. Mr Marsich has not sought name suppression in either case.

The Fair Trading Act 1986 is designed to protect consumers by prohibiting false and misleading behaviour by businesses in the promotion and sale of goods and services.

The Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act provides important protection to borrowers to ensure they can make informed choices and know what they’re agreeing to by requiring lenders to fully disclose all terms and fees under a contract. While the Act requires that some fees reflect the lender’s actual costs, it does not limit the interest rates that may be charged.