Uniting Communities has campaigned actively against the exploitation of vulnerable people by payday lenders for many years, with some improvements. However, tonight’s Four Corners program on ABC TV will no doubt highlight significant continuing problems.
Uniting Communities is seeking stronger regulation to reduce the exploiting of vulnerable people, including:
- A responsible referral framework where payday lenders must refer eligible clients to free or low cost services like NILS and StepUP, as well as financial counsellors where appropriate.
- A restriction on the number of loans that can be provided to a client each year. For example limiting shorter term (30/60 day) loans to three cycles before referring to a financial counsellor.
- A commitment from payday lenders to demonstrate that the client understood the product and improvements on the disclosure of information such as including the annual percentage rates in advertisements and contracts.
- A cap on the annualised interest rate that can be charged to a maximum of 50%.
- An increased investment by governments in inclusive finance, as recommended by the Murray Financial System Inquiry final report.