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Radio Rentals Parent Thorn Fined $2M For Credit Act Breach

Radio Rentals owner, Thorn Australia, has been penalised $2 million [plus $240,000 in ASIC legal costs] for failing to adequately check whether customers could afford its whitegoods leasing program.

Thorn has admitted to over one million breaches of the National Credit Act. The whopping figure consists of four breaches for 275,000 leases signed between January 2012 and May 2015.

Thorn Group Radio Rentals stores are not associated with South Australian owned Radio Rentals outlets. In South Australia, Thorn Group trades as Rentlo Reinvented.

Following its recent fine, Thorn’s total cost for breaching responsible lending laws has tipped over $22 million in penalties, costs and customer refunds.

Thorn has also agreed to introduce a new “plain English” contract, in addition to the appointment of an independent expert to review compliance with its credit licence.

The ruling follows ASIC’s crack down on predatory payday lending and consumer leasing.

Peter Kell, ASIC Deputy Chairman, affirms Australian law requires lenders to verify a consumer’s financial situation, and ensure they’re not being put in “unaffordable loans or leases”.

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