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Wizard Home Loans’ advertising misleading

Wizard Home Loans’ advertising misleading – Chinese community targeted

A company named New Aussie Finance Pty Limited, licensed to trade as Wizard Home Loans to the Chinese and Korean communities in the greater Auckland region, has admitted its advertising was misleading and in breach of the Fair Trading Act in a settlement with the Commerce Commission.

The advertising, which appeared in an Auckland Chinese language publication Property Overview in February this year, included the representations (translated from Chinese) ‘Floating rate 3.22% p.a.* from’ and ‘*No application fee *No monthly fee *No annual fee’.

A Commerce Commission investigation revealed that the 3.22% p.a. interest rate was only available for the first month of the loan, that the offer was only available on loans of $300,000 or more and that the loan was subject to a $600 application fee.

In addition, pictures and contact details of 14 employees featured in the advertising implied that all were Auckland based, when in fact 12 were based in Australia at the time the advertising was published.

Director of Fair Trading Deborah Battell said that while the advertising included a disclaimer ‘terms and conditions apply’ the offer was misleading in the Commission’s view.

“All important terms and conditions should match the offer and must be clearly and accurately disclosed. Small print cannot be used to substantially change or qualify the impression given by advertising,” she said.

“The Fair Trading Act has wide application and is not limited to claims made in English – it also applies to claims made in any other language.

“People are encouraged to call the Commission’s Contact Centre on 0800 943 600 if they are concerned that they or others may have been misled,” Ms Battell added.

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