ASIC has permanently banned another former Aussie Home Loans mortgage broker following an investigation.
In a statement today, the corporate watchdog announced that Mr Bernard Meehan, a former mortgage broker for AHL Investments Pty Ltd (trading as Aussie Home Loans), has been permanently banned from engaging in credit activities by ASIC.
ASIC's investigation found that Mr Meehan had submitted payslips, document checklists and loan serviceability forms in nine home loan applications to Westpac Banking Group (Westpac) over a 12-month period from January 2014 to January 2015, that were false or materially misleading. Among the false documents were payslips that had not been issued by the purported employer.
“ASIC found that Mr Meehan's actions were wrong, inconsistent with a compliance mentality and showed a lacked of insight into what was required of a broker,” the regulator said in a statement.
“Mr Meehan failed to adhere to proper procedures and did not accept wrongdoing or show appreciation of the fact that what he did involved failure to comply with credit legislation.”
Aussie Home Loans reported the misconduct to ASIC.
“Gatekeepers, such as banks, aggregators and franchise groups have an important role to play in regulating the mortgage broking industry and act as a first line of defence to detect inappropriate practices and behaviour,” ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said.
Mr Meehan has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision. He is the fourth Aussie Home Loans mortgage broker who has been permanently banned and/or convicted over the past 18 months for submitting false or misleading documents in loan applications. The other three mortgage brokers were:
• Mr Madhvan Nair – convicted on 18 charges involving the submission of false or misleading information to Westpac, NAB, and ANZ.
• Ms Emma Feduniw – convicted and permanently banned for providing false documents in eight loan applications to Westpac.
• Mr Shiv Prakash Sahay – convicted and permanently banned for providing false documents in loan applications for 17 of his clients to Bankwest and Suncorp Metway Limited.
Since becoming the national regulator of consumer credit on 1 July 2010, ASIC has investigated in excess of 100 matters relating to loan fraud and has achieved many enforcement outcomes against the offenders.
The outcomes range from undertakings by persons to voluntarily leave the industry to bans and prosecutions. To date, ASIC has banned 74 individuals or companies from providing credit services (including 32 permanent bans).
[Related: Mortgage broker convicted for fraud]
James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.
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