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Government Efforts to Hit Predatory Lending Welcomed

The Salvation Army welcomes the Government’s bravery to provide stronger protections to New Zealanders. The Army applauds the announcement by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today to tackle predatory lending and protect vulnerable consumers. It is particularly pleasing to see a cap on interest fees, penalties for loan sharks who break the rules and a ‘fit and proper person’ test for lenders, door-to-door salespeople and truck shops, Major Campbell Roberts Principal Advisor to the Army’s Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit says. “These reforms will help the valuable and often undervalued work of budgeters and financial mentors often assisting consumers to struggle under a mountain of debt to mobile trucks and pay day lenders. We look forward to their inclusion in legislation this year.” It is important to see these reforms carried through in their entirety, not watered down under the influence of lobby groups as happened to the most recent attempt at reforms in 2015, Major Roberts says. The reforms proposed will benefit all New Zealanders, but they particularly present an opportunity to make a real difference to people struggling with debt and who have suffered for too long from the actions of unscrupulous lenders. “Added to products like micro finance, other ethical lending models and financial inclusion products real change can occur in practices which have cast a dark shadow on the lives of vulnerable families.”

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