A property management and financial planning company has paid $30,600 in penalties for an array of false and misleading advertisements.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said it had penalised Gold Coast-based Equanimity Concepts for ads relating to home loans.
ASIC said its concern was that consumers may have thought that if they borrowed through Equanimity “they would be helped to repay their home loan in a reduced timeframe without incurring further debt”.
The advertising breaches occurred in magazines, in YouTube videos and on the company website from January 2012 to July 2014.
Equanimity entered into an enforceable undertaking with ASIC in November 2014 following an investigation into the ads.
In further regulatory action over the matter, ASIC issued the company with three infringement notices, each one imposing a penalty of $10,200.
One of the infringement notices was in regards to a promotional video uploaded to YouTube.
The video said, “We can show you how you can pay off a 25-year home loan in less than five years without paying any more than what you are paying right now. You can build a property portfolio and not have to pay for it. The cost for us to do this is one, maybe two, cups of coffee.”
ASIC said the statement was false and misleading because it failed to provide a complete picture of the financial liabilities that a consumer would incur after their home loan is discharged.
“Advertising of this nature will not be tolerated and ASIC will take swift action when confronted with false claims,” it said.
Equanimity’s website promotes the virtues of its one-stop shop offering.
“The founder of Equanimity Concepts has been in the finance and real estate industry for the past 28 years,” it said.
“As we also specialise in negatively-geared investment property throughout Australia, we can guide you through the maze that you never thought was possible.
“We take all the stress and strain out of the complicated task of buying the right property, getting the right loan, and having the right package that suits your lifestyle.”
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