Woolworths reminded it isn’t a bank

 In Australia, NewZealand, Woolworths
It is illegal for companies to use the words "bank", "banker" or "banking" to describe their businesses unless they hold a banking licence from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

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Fairfax Media understands that APRA is probing Woolworths, which doesn’t have a banking licence, after it labelled its credit card business as a banking service on its website.

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A Woolworths spokeswoman conceded the company had made a mistake.

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“We acknowledge we were using the wrong term and this will be rectified,” the spokeswoman said.

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The admission came as rival Coles said it was considering becoming a member of the Financial Services Council, giving it a seat at the table among the nation’s leading wealth managers. Coles announced earlier this month that it planned to start issuing personal loans within the next 12 months as part of its own push into financial services.

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APRA aggressively polices use of the word ‘bank’, launching several legal actions in recent years to either shut down operations or freeze funds.

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The most famous occured when receivers took control of about $5 million raised by David Siminton after the Federal Court found he had set up an unregistered bank in his self-proclaimed "principality of Camside". Sydney Morning Herld – Read more…

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