Nimble targets young people
Nimble's tagline "smart little loans" offers quick loans from $500 to $5000 with very high interest rates. Its ads target young people, encouraging them to take out repeat loans for day-to-day living expenses.
Scott Pape, an independent financial adviser known as The Barefoot Investor, referred to the payday lending industry as "incredibly dangerous" for consumers, in an interview with CHOICE.
"In my view, you've got Nimble trying to be hip and cool and acting like a tech start-up, [but] they're not. Bankers have been ripping off people for hundreds of years. There's nothing new in what they're doing, they're just exploiting people who have low financial literacy," says Pape.
Payday lending industry shonky
CHOICE campaigns manager Erin Turner says the payday lenders' business model is making money by taking advantage of people in desperate situations.
"Last year CHOICE gave the whole payday industry a Shonky for their dodgy high-cost products and predatory behaviour. The ASIC action has resulted in a strong fine against a major lender and will see money directed to independent, free financial counselling for people struggling with debt," says Turner.
ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell says the payday lending industry remains a high priority area for the Commission.
"This is a significant outcome for financially vulnerable consumers," says Kell.
Nimble chief executive Sami Malia says Nimble regrets inconveniences caused to the affected customers.
"Nimble has identified and promptly resolved these issues. They affected around 1.2% of loans written during the period from 1 July 2013 to 22 July 2015," says Malia.
"These application assessment issues were entirely unintended and were resolved in collaboration with ASIC. There has been no adverse findings against Nimble."
Next steps for Nimble customers
Consumers are encouraged to contact Nimble if they think they've been given an unsuitable loan. If they're not satisfied with the response, consumers can lodge a complaint with the Credit and Investments Ombudsman.