New Zealand Law Society - Budget Loans’ pair banned from company management

Budget Loans’ pair banned from company management

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Management banning orders have been issued against father-and-son Allan and Wayne Hawkins, following an application by the Commerce Commission.

The commission says it sought the bans under s 46C of the Fair Trading Act 1986 following the pair’s management of the finance company Budget Loans Ltd. The maximum length of a banning order under s 46C is 10 years.

The commission reports that in his written decision, District Court Judge Gibson said both men “represent a significant hazard to anyone dealing with any company they manage or control or are directors of.  The public in general and borrowers in particular … are entitled to be protected from the respondents.”

They were directors of Budget Loans Ltd, which was convicted of Fair Trading Act breaches twice in the last 10 year period, July 2010 and July 2016.

The orders ban Wayne Hawkins from being a director or being in any way concerned with the management of a company for 10 years, while Allan Hawkins, who is now 78, is banned for eight years.

Wayne Hawkins did not appear in court to oppose the application. Allan Hawkins unsuccessfully opposed the application in a three-day hearing in the Auckland District Court in November 2019.

Judge Gibson said Budget Loans used “high-handed and intimidatory tactics in dealing with debtors." 
He said Budget Loans conducted operations with “ruthlessness” and that the Hawkins were “closely involved in the day to day operations”, and while they knew repossessions were illegal “both respondents were plainly unconcerned and dismissive”.

For the Commerce Commission, General Counsel Competition and Consumer Mary-Anne Borrowdale said: “We pursued these bans because we think it necessary to protect the public from risks of further offending under the FT Act.”

In May 2018 Budget Loans and Evolution Finance Limited were fined $720,000 on 125 charges under the FT Act and ordered to pay reparations and emotional harm payments totalling $91,000. 

“Those amounts have not been paid, except for one payment of about $139, and this sum was paid when a court seized the funds. Not only have borrowers not received reparations, payments continue to be collected,” said Ms Borrowdale.