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Latitude appoints new non-executive board director

by Adrian Suljanovic8 minute read
Latitude appoints new non-executive board director

Latitude Group Holdings Limited has announced the recruitment of a new non-executive board director.

The personal lender has appointed Julie Raffe as a non-executive board director, effective immediately. With 40 years of experience, Ms Raffe has held various executive and non-executive roles including being the former finance director, company secretary and chief financial officer for Village Roadshow Limited.

Currently, Ms Raffe is a non-executive director for Ridley Corporation Limited, non-executive director and chair for the audit and risk committee for Ironman 4x4 Pty Ltd and national president of the Finance Executives Institute of Australia.

Latitude chairman Mike Tilley said the lender is pleased to welcome Ms Raffe to the board, where her extensive finance and board experience will add “invaluable diversity and skills to the Latitude board” as the lender enters its next phase of growth.

“In particular, Ms Raffe brings to Latitude a thorough understanding of the importance of customer service from her 30 years with Village Roadshow in both executive and non-executive roles,” Mr Tilley added.

On her appointment, Ms Raffe said: “I am delighted to be joining Latitude, Australia and New Zealand’s leading instalments and consumer lending business. I look forward to adding my expertise in support of what is already a well-credentialled Board.”

Latitude’s recent brush with ACMA

Earlier this year, Latitude was fined $1.55 million after sending over 3 million commercial emails and text messages to customers without opt-out options.

The media and communications regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), produced an infringement notice to Latitude following an investigation into the personal lender’s compliance with the Spam Act 2003 on 23 March 2022, after receiving consumer complaints.

The complaints focused on allegations that Latitude sent SMS and email messages to customers between June 2021 and March 2022 without the ability to unsubscribe, and without consent after recipients made attempts to unsubscribe.

In its investigation, ACMA found “at least” 3 million messages were sent without a functional unsubscribe facility, while 2,100 messages were sent without consent.

The lender was revealed to have mischaracterised commercial emails and texts as “information only” messages, according to ACMA’s findings.

Along with the penalty, the ACMA has also accepted a comprehensive three-year court-enforceable undertaking from the lender.

Latitude issued a statement outlining that it accepted the ACMA’s findings, while acknowledging that the fine and enforceable undertaking “reflect the volume and seriousness of the breach”.

However, the lender suggested that the breach “caused no financial harm to customers”.

“Latitude Financial accepts the finding of the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) investigation of compliance with the Spam Act and apologises to customers,” it said.

[RELATED: Latitude fined $1.55m for spam breaches]

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