Archive | Credit

Judge told to reconsider 19 dismissed charges against Hawkins loan companies

The Commerce Commission has won its appeal against a district court decision to dismiss 19 charges against 2 finance companies controlled by former Equiticorp chief Allan Hawkins.

In the Auckland High Court, Justice Rebecca Edwards found in the commission’s favour in a judgment issued on 11 April and remitted the 19 charges back to Auckland District Court judge David Sharp for determination.

Judge Sharp found the 2 companies guilty on 106 charges last year. Dismissing the other 19, he said they concerned representations about the companies’ right to charge interest & costs on contracts entered into before 6 June 2015, following repossession & sale of borrowers’ property where Budget & Evolution had security interest over multiple items.

The commission’s case was that, for loans entered into before 6 June 2015, lenders were prohibited under the Credit (Repossession) Act from charging interest & costs after the first security item had been repossessed & sold. Budget & Evolution argued that where a loan was secured over multiple items, all items had to be repossessed & sold before they needed to stop charging interest & costs.

Budget & Evolution also appealed all 106 convictions on multiple grounds, but Justice Edwards rejected all appeals.

Mr Hawkins headed the Equiticorp finance group in the 1980s but, after the 1987 sharemarket collapse, he ended up in civil & criminal trials over the group’s activities and was sentenced to 6 years’ jail for fraud.

He formed the Cynotech group of finance companies about 12 years ago, using the shells of his 1980s companies.

Mr Hawkins’ listed company, Cynotech Holdings Ltd, was delisted in September 2013 after his private company, Cynotech Securities Ltd, acquired 71% of the shares in 2010 in a bid to fully privatise it. In July 2013, Cynotech Holdings went into liquidation after his backers ended their support.

Mr Hawkins resigned as sole director of Budget Loans on 9 July 2013 but was reappointed on 13 August 2013. He remains a director of Broadway Mortgage Custodians Ltd, Cynotech Finance Ltd & Evolution Finance Ltd, and is one of 4 directors of Budget Loans Group Ltd (renamed from Cynotech Securities Group Ltd in July 2013; in liquidation November 2013).

Commerce Commission enforcement response register, including judgments

Earlier stories:
18 July 2016: Hawkins’ finance companies guilty on loan contract enforcement
17 December 2014: Commission files criminal charges against 2 Allan Hawkins finance companies
9 November 2013: Commission tells Allan Hawkins’ finance companies to stop repossessions
11 July 2013: Cynotech share trading halted after backers end support
28 July 2010: “Welcome letter” from Hawkins’ Budget Loans to National Finance borrowers came with an illegal $15 fee

Attribution: Commission release, judgments, Companies Register.

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Veda pushes credit law reform following Australian move

Published 13 August 2008

Veda Advantage (NZ) Ltd advocated a move to comprehensive credit reporting today, following a recommendation from the Australian Law Reform Commission for the reform of privacy & credit reporting laws across the Tasman.


The commission recommended that more data be permitted on individual credit files, though it stopped short of embracing full disclosure, and the Australian Government has committed to implementing reform in the next 12-18 months.


Veda Advantage NZ country director John Roberts said: “The current privacy laws in New Zealand & Australia are not open, transparent or fair. They prevent consumers from building a positive credit history and stop lenders from making informed decisions about a customer’s financial situation.’’


He said New Zealand & Australia operated under a “negative” credit-reporting regime, whereas most OECD countries practised comprehensive or positive reporting “With Australia moving away from negative reporting, New Zealand will be just one of 2 OECD countries using this outdated system.”


In New Zealand, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner has begun to formally review the credit reporting privacy code, which contains the barriers to comprehensive positive reporting.


Mr Roberts said: “Today’s credit reports currently provide lenders with just 11% of the picture required to identify & predict credit risk. With the economy currently in recession and statistics from our credit bureau showing that defaults & bankruptcies are on the increase, it is time our Government recognised the need for law reform that will offer more protection to consumers & businesses.’’


Want to comment? Email [email protected].

Attribution: Company release, story written by Bob Dey for The Bob Dey Property Report.

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Card offer doesn’t easily reveal backer

Published 29 December 2006

When I get credit-related offers from sources which aren’t easily identifiable, I get suspicious. Today’s offer, in the company post box, was for the OzoneCard, promoted by nobody in particular.

The 10-page pamphlet, with application form, disclosed that Ozonecard had a website, but didn’t disclose either a company or individuals who might be the promoters.

The website’s company overview page says: “OzoneCard began as part of a privately held company founded in 2002 by a group of 8 key shareholders. This group included two chartered accountants, a lawyer, systems analyst, marketing consultant, senior company director and a few software developers. In 2006 the business split from its parent company and renamed itself OzoneCard International Limited.

“From those beginnings the company has developed its product offering to become the worlds most unique financial tool with branches across the globe.”

The website has photos of staff, but not of chief executive Daniel Evans.

The Companies Office register shows Mr Evans, now of Newton, had OzoneCard incorporated on 6 September and that 4 other directors came on board on 21 November – James Graham, Carterton; Bob Loizou, Wellington; Garth MacIntyre, Upper Hutt; & Sam Rama, Wellington.

The company’s 20 million shares are held by XO Ltd, whose 4 directors (as above, excluding Mr Loizou) were appointed on 21 November. XO’s website still shows co-founder Sam Price as managing director.

Mr Evans is sole director of Ozone Australia Ltd, Ozone Barter Ltd, Lipton Karin III Ltd (ceased business) & Karin III Ltd (struck off the register in 2002).

Mr Evans was involved in setting up Plastic Imedia Covers Ltd on 17 January 2006, but resigned as a director the next day, leaving Miriam Worsnop as sole director. Ms Worsnop is also a director of Bexglen (NZ) Ltd.

Mr Loizou is a director of Beta Investments Ltd, Capital Gateway Ltd, Loizou Investments Ltd, Melo Ltd, Zeta Investments Ltd & Zeta Willis Ltd. Zeta Investments bought Cigna House on Mercer St, Wellington for $11.9 million in 2001. Mr MacIntyre is a director of Multi-Pack Ltd & Portion Pack Foods Ltd.

In a 6 March 2006 news release, Bartering for wealth, XO described itself as “the world’s premier barter & counter-trade systems developer. It offers a neutral internet-based platform that enables traders to trade with one another using a ‘virtual’ currency through electronic & traditional means. XO’s systems are designed to enable barter exchange operators to reduce their costs whilst increasing their overall trade volumes. Some of the key functionalities of their trading platform includes: a universal currency, internet banking, TXT/SMS banking, internet trading, IVR (telephone) banking, EFTPOS (electronic point of sale) cards and direct interfaces with traditional banking methods. Additionally, the XO software systems are written to enable the barter exchange operator direct access to their customer base via the internet, with data able to be accessed and downloaded into common Microsoft & third party applications. It is understood that the company operates the largest team of software developers specialising in barter exchange systems anywhere in the world.”

Websites: Ozonecard



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Attribution: Company document, company websites, Companies Office, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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