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Loan shark industry will grow without laws to stop them

November 1, 2012

Loan shark industry will continue to grow without laws to stop them

Without interest rate caps imposed on them, loan sharks will still bite, FIRST Union’s Pasekifa Fono says.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the Federation of Family Budgeting Services have launched a freecall number targeting Pacific victims of loan sharks, to give advice and refer cases to external disputes resolution in some cases.

This was a start, but Terry Tuiletufuga, convenor of the FIRST Union Pasefika Fono, said that without laws in place to stop them, the loan shark industry would continue to grow.

He said that low income pacific workers and beneficiaries in areas like South Auckland have been poorly served by inadequate protections around dodgy lenders.

“What is desperately needed is a cap on interest rates charged by fringe lenders. Other countries do this, and there is no reason why we can’t.

“National voted down a bill in the previous Parliament that would have clamped down on loan sharks. They have their own draft proposals finally, but it doesn’t go far enough.”

“Why would any government defend lax rules that allow loan sharks to charge interest rates of in some cases several hundred percent,” he said.

Terry Tuiletufuga said FIRST Union Pasefika Fono would be holding the first of several community stalls this weekend to build support for stronger loan shark laws, with a stall at a Glenfield community event from 2pm till 5pm this Saturday.

The National Distribution Union and Finsec joined forces in October 2011 to form New Zealand’s newest union – FIRST. The union represents 27,000 people working in Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood) Retail, Stores & Transport. http://firstunion.org.nz

ENDS

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