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Ace Financial Services’ attracts $9,000 fine

Ace Financial Services’ shop around offer attracts $9,000 fine

Finance and mortgage broker Graeme Charles Fisher was fined $9,000 in the Blenheim District Court today, after pleading guilty to breaching the Fair Trading Act in relation to misleading claims made in radio advertising about his business, Ace Financial Services.

The Commerce Commission laid charges against Mr Fisher in regards to advertising on Sounds FM between April 2001 and February 2002 in which representations were made that ‘they’ve got better rates than you know who’ and that ‘they’ll shop around to make sure you’ll get the best deal’.

Director of Fair Trading Deborah Battell said that during that time, Mr Fisher did not shop around to get the best deal, but put almost all loans through one finance company, Blenheim Finance Limited of which he was director and 50 percent shareholder.

“In addition, Fisher’s loans were not the best deal. In a random sample of 30 loans, in each case his were more expensive than those of both his main competitor and those that would have been available through other financiers at the time,” Ms Battell said.

Ms Battell said that the Commission had taken action against Mr Fisher because in the Commission’s view his claims were false and unfair to consumers and competitors.

“It is important for consumers to be able to trust claims made by businesses, especially claims they cannot test for themselves. The actions of lenders like Mr Fisher also undermine public confidence in the business of legitimate brokers.

“Consumers had no way of knowing that Mr Fisher was not shopping around to get the best deal,” Ms Battell said.

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