BMW Australia Finance has paid $306,000 in fines to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission for repossession practices that breached key consumer protection laws by failing to inform buyers of their legal rights and options.
Under the National Credit Code, borrowers are required to be informed about their rights and options, including how to remedy a financial default.
However, between January and July 2014, ASIC found BMW Finance failed to adequately explain to customers what their rights are when their car is repossessed or if they voluntarily return a vehicle.
ASIC also found, in one case, repossession agents employed by BMW Finance illegally entered a residential property without the owners’ consent.
“ASIC will continue to monitor compliance with these provisions to ensure that borrowers are not left with inflated shortfalls, and that agents are repossessing mortgaged goods within the law,” ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said in a statement.
Dulux scoops up family-owned Porter’s Paints
DuluxGroup has told its shareholders it plans to buy Sydney-based paint business, Porter’s Paints.
Shares in Dulux rallied on the deal, which is subject to due diligence and approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The sale price has not been disclosed.
Porter’s Paints was founded by owner Peter Lewis in 1980, who named the brand after his grandfather Fred Porter. The company manufactures and sells architectural and decorative paints and is targeted to architects and designers.
DuluxGroup managing director Patrick Houlihan said in a statement Porter’s Paints will broaden the group’s product offering within the architectural and decorative paints market.
“With sales of less than $10 million, Porter’s would not have a material impact on earnings in the near term,” Houlihan said.
“However, it has a strong colour, texture and design focus, which we can build on over the longer term.”
Peter Lewis will remain involved in the business, with Dulux to employ him to assist with the creative direction and development of the Porter’s brand.
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Shares up on open
Aussie shares have traded higher this morning, following a reasonably strong lead from Wall Street overnight.
But according to Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, local investors will have their eyes on local economic data releases today.
“Wage increases have been running at the lowest levels since 1997,” Spooner said in a statement.
“Any deterioration in the fourth quarter data to be released today will increase expectations for another rate cut while dampening the outlook for resurgence in consumer spending. Fourth quarter construction data will also shape views on GDP growth.”
The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was up 1.9 points to 5928.9 points at 11.47am AEDT. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones closed 92.35 points higher, up 0.51% to 18209.2 points.