Asic orders Urban Rampage stores to end Centrepay credit arrangements

(Source: Urban Rampage)

Clothing and homewares retailer Urban Rampage has been ordered by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (Asic) to stop offering Centrepay credit arrangements at its stores.

Operated by Coral Coast Distributors, Urban Rampage has stores at 10 locations in regional and remote locations across Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland.

However, Urban Rampage has vowed to fight the ban, describing Asic’s decision as “racist and paternalistic”. The business has instructed its lawyers to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and potentially launch a legal challenge under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975. 

Asic said the credit arrangements are not suitable for consumers in the target market as they are inconsistent with their financial situation, putting them at risk of financial hardship.

“Coral Coast targeted First Nations consumers who received Centrelink payments. After entering into Centrepay credit arrangements at Urban Rampage stores, many of these consumers found themselves without money to pay for essentials,” explained Asic commissioner Alan Kirkland.

The final decision came after Asic imposed a 21-day interim stop order in late February, during which the business could make their submissions regarding the case.

“Addressing harm impacting First Nations Australians is a key priority for Asic and we continue to work closely with financial counsellors and advocates in regional and remote communities to understand the challenges those communities face,” Kirkland concluded.

However, Urban Rampage says no complaints or evidence of harm have been received and that Asic had not engaged with affected customers. It also urged First Nations politicians to visit the remote communities and give their opinion about the case.

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