R-r-richard B-bradley is excited

Richard Bradley the reclusive money lender has been talking to the media. but not to our media, to the media in Australia. The reason he gives for his reticence for talking with the media is that he has a stutter. Well he should HTFU, a stammer doesn’t seem to stop Ian Grant from spreading his message which is a whole lot more honest than the message of Richard Bradley.

No matter how much you are looking forward to Christmas, I can almost guarantee you’re not as excited as Richard Bradley.

Bradley and his wife Ruth are the entrepreneurs behind New Zealand-based company Chrisco Hampers, which sells Christmas hampers that consumers pay for on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis over the course of the year.

While this festive company might seem like its operating in a fairly niche sector, make no mistake – this is a seriously big business.

When Bradley spoke to Business Spectator late last week, his business was in the process of shipping between 300,000 and 400,000 hampers in New Zealand each year, and 1.8 million hampers in Australia.

Well whooppee, I just bet he is looking forward to Christmas with the massive margins he makes off of the product and usury rates he uses to finance his business model. Still the creditors of and investors in Hopscotch Finance are hoping like hell he can get back on his feet. Smart Company has done some back of the beer coaster estimates of Bradley’s provided figures. I must say they seem highly suspicious of his numbers, but anyway an interesting comment falls out of that calculation when they ask Bradley about it.

If we assume Chrisco operates on a conservative margin of just 5% we’re looking at a business that makes $20 million in profit each year. Applying a multiple to work out the value of the company is difficult due to the lack of similar listed companies and the fact that Chrisco runs across industries such as food, beverages, logistics and financial services.

For his part, Bradley sees the company as operating in the financial services sector. “We’ve always seen ourselves as helping people save,” he says.

Right, so there we have it Richard Bradley says in his own words that Chrisco is operating in the financial services sector. Why then has his company failed to issue a prospectus in both Australia and in New Zealand and failed to comply with the relevant laws associated with the financial services sector. If you ask for an official response to this accusation it is met with a Bradley retort that Chrisco only needs comply with the outdated Layby’s Act and not any other act.

Why has the Commerce Commission and the Securities Commission acted against Chrisco and other like companies and insisted that they come under the regulations of the financial sector. Even by the most liberal interpretation of the Laybys Act Chrisco doesn’t qualify because they actually don’t have the product that is being paid for. You cannot rock up to Chrisco and ask to see your hamper. They simple do not keep Hams and other food items. They bulk buy the week before shipping. Likewise the ACCC and the ASIC should be looking very closely at Chrisco given Richard Bradley’s statement that Chrisco is a financial services sector company.

Meanwhile in Australia IGA has costed out Chrisco and found exactly the same as The Whale, that Chrisco is ripping off their customers. When will the Consumer Affairs Minister act? When will the ComCom act? When will the SecCom act?

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