ASIC cancels credit licences of Sydney mortgage brokers Option 1 Mortgage and Dean Mooney Pty Ltd

ASIC has cancelled the credit licences of two Sydney mortgage broking firms and has permanently banned the director of one of them from engaging in credit activities.

Mortgage brokers require an ASIC credit licence or be licensed as a credit representative under an ASIC licence-holder to assist with arranging mortgages and other credit products.

ASIC permanently banned Almaza Souzie Boutros, of Merrylands in western Sydney, from engaging in credit activities after being convicted of a serious fraud offence.

ASIC also cancelled the Australian credit licence issued to Option 1 Mortgage Pty Ltd (Option 1 Mortgage), of which Boutros is a director, on the grounds that Option 1 is in liquidation.

Boutros' conduct as a director of Option 1 Mortgage resulted in a conviction for fraud in April 2012.

Fairfield Local Court ordered her to pay compensation and placed her on a good behaviour bond for a period of 18 months.

Boutros and Option 1 Mortgage have the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decisions.

ASIC also cancelled the Australian credit licence of Dean Mooney Pty Ltd, a Sydney-based finance broking firm, after it was found it failed to hold membership of an approved external dispute resolution scheme (EDR).

Under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009, credit licensees are required to be members of an ASIC-approved EDR scheme.

ASIC can suspend or cancel an Australian Credit Licence if the licensee is not a member of an approved EDR scheme. 

Dean Mooney Pty Ltd was granted a licence to engage in credit activities, including the provision of mortgages, on January 17 last year.

On October 12, 2011, Dean Mooney Pty Ltd's EDR membership was cancelled by the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited (FOS), one of the two EDR schemes approved by ASIC.

The membership was cancelled by FOS due to non-payment of membership fees.

Dean Mooney Pty Ltd did not hold membership with the Credit Ombudsman Service Limited, the only other ASIC-approved EDR scheme.

Commenting on the decision, ASIC commissioner Peter Kell said, “EDR schemes provide consumers with alternatives to legal proceedings in respect of resolving complaints with their credit service providers, therefore, when a credit licensee fails to maintain membership in such a scheme, ASIC will act to protect consumers by cancelling the entity’s credit licence”.

Dean Mooney Pty Ltd has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.

The Australian credit licence was cancelled with the effective date of July 2, 2012.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer


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