Nimble responds to ASIC penalty

Nimble has issued a statement in response to an ASIC investigation which found the payday lender failed to meet its responsible lending obligations.

Nimble said it had reached an agreement with ASIC “to resolve some application assessment issues affecting a small number of customers” and “regrets any inconvenience caused to the affected customers”.

Nimble CEO Sami Malia said it has co-operated with ASIC to quickly fix the issues through system enhancements.

“Nimble has identified and promptly resolved these issues. They affected around 1.2 per cent of loans written during the period from 1 July 2013 to 22 July 2015,” Mr Malia said.

“These application assessment issues were entirely unintended and were resolved in collaboration with ASIC. There has been no adverse findings against Nimble.”

Nimble said it will refund fees paid on those loans to affected customers as part of an agreed refund program.

The corporate regulator ordered Nimble to refund more than $1.5 million to over 7,000 customers last week after it identified deficiencies in the lender’s compliance with the responsible lending laws when providing short-term loans to consumers.

According to ASIC, Nimble had not properly assessed the financial circumstances of many consumers before providing them with loans.

“Nimble relied on algorithms which did not properly take consumers’ financial information into account,” the regulator said.

ASIC said Nimble also failed to consistently recognise consumers who had obtained repeat loans from payday lenders within short periods of time.

“Even where repeat loans were properly identified, Nimble did not take sufficient or appropriate steps as required by law before providing a loan to the consumer,” it said.

“Nimble failed to make proper inquiries of consumers’ requirements and objectives, and inquiries that were made were of a general nature and resulted in not enough information for Nimble to fully understand the consumers’ needs”

Nimble also agreed to make a $50,000 contribution to Financial Counselling Australia.

[Related: Lessons learned from an ASIC review]

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