Feeds

Bank slapped for beating up small biz

Regulator tells it to be reasonable

High performance access to file storage

The Aussie competition regulator has slammed Macquarie Bank for suing hundreds of small businesses caught up in a series of apparent telco-bundling frauds.

The bank had been a big financier of various firms which offer businesses bundled deals - sign up to a telecoms deal and get a free TV or laptop.

But in many cases people were unaware they were actually signing up to multi-year rental agreements, often with a separate finance company.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it was not impressed by Macquarie's reaction.

ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said: "I have to say to you this is a source of great disappointment to us. I'd like to think that when the chairman of the ACCC approaches the CEO of a major organisation like this and says, 'based on all my own commercial experience and based on what we believe at the ACCC is a fair and reasonable way forward', that they'd listen to it and react receptively."

Samuel told Aussie current affairs programme ABC1's Four Corners that the regulator was investigating hundreds of complaints of similar dodgy deals.

Four Corners found evidence of doctored contracts charging people for hardware they had not ordered nor asked for, forged signatures or signatures that had been transposed from one document to another and even evidence of finance companies having set up direct debits using forged documents.

A subsidiary of Macquarie has sued 300 businesses for missing payments relating to the dodgy deals.

Some customers have signed up to multi-year deals only to find that the telco provider goes bust, leaving them paying off the hardware bill with no hope of receiving services.

Samuel added: "I think it is very clear though that the finance companies would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to realise in many of these cases that what they're dealing with is companies that are engaging in a course of conduct that is potentially misleading small business consumers."

Samuel said he'd spoken to CEOs at Macquarie, Cisco Systems and Capital Finance. All three had turned down his request to stop aggressively pursuing the contracts, he said. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.