Province Consulting on Alternative Financial Services

On September 21, the Province began a 30-day consultation period with stakeholders regarding alternative financial services. This follows the announcement of a regulatory change that will see the maximum allowable charge for a payday loan reduced to $17 per every $100 borrowed, taking effect on January 1, 2017.

In addition to payday loans, alternative financial services include instalment and vehicle title loans; rent-to-own sales; and cheque cashing services. The Province, under the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, is looking to discuss a number of issues including consumer education/information, community partnerships, additional borrowing regulations, and alternative loan products. Interested parties are requested to provide feedback by responding to a series of questions by October 20, 2016.

Reducing the maximum allowable charge for a payday loan from $23 to $17 per $100 borrowed follows a 2015 UBCM Resolution (B122) that sought to have the maximum allowable charge lowered. B122 also requested that payday lenders be required to offer instalment-based repayment options and that each individual lender be prohibited from offering more than one loan in the same week to the same applicant. UBCM has also examined options for local governments to regulate payday lenders.

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