Google Mistakenly Targets Australian SACC Loans

Jul 13 2016

Google Mistakenly Targets Australian SACC Loans

An article, recently published in the Sydney Morning Herald, states that, starting Wednesday 13 July 2016, "Google will not run ads for loans than last less than 60 days".  According to the article, this is being done by Google,  "in an effort to protect users from "deceptive or harmful financial products".

This action is part of Google's global ban on small amount and short term lending and is based on its ban on ads in the "US for products with annual percentage rates higher than 35 per cent". 

In the article, Phil Johns, CEO of small loans industry body the National Credit Providers Association (NCPA), "said Google made the decision based on the industry in the US, which was less regulated than in Australia.   

"Google has taken it upon itself to say 'we think all loans under 60 days are bad', but in Australia that product is known as the Volvo of credit because it's got the most consumer protections," Mr Johns said.

"Google has taken this global view that one glove fits everyone around the world, and it's not true."

The article further reports that, "Mr Johns, who has met with Google to discuss the new rules, said the search giant was also forcing lenders to include an annual percentage rate (APR) on ads for other products, which distorted a loan's real cost." 

The article confirms that "Mr Johns accused Google of hypocrisy by continuing to sell the term "payday loan" to lenders while banning ads for payday loans themselves. "They say payday loans are bad but corporate greed is good, so they're still going to charge lenders to use the term," he said.  

Further comments about the article since publication:

CEO Phil Johns has noted that the online version of the article also carries a video of an itnerview which he believes contains several inaccuracies about the current small amount lending industry which, in Australia, is highly regulated. 

In Australia, SACC loans (small amount credit contracts) has significant legislation based on consumer protection which governs the supply of these products. 
Goggle's action has effectively overriden federal government legislation to demand changes to lenders' websites.

 CLICK HERE to read the full article on line.  Or download the pdf of the main article at the bottom of this page.