National unveils loan shark crackdown 6 Nov 2011
Loan sharks were targeted and anti-competitive behaviour would be criminalised in National’s commerce policy unveiled today. About a third of current lenders may be out of business because of the changes. Leader John Key said National would work to increase people’s financial kills and knowledge. Earlier, finance spokesman Bill English announced plans to crack down on loan sharks, it does not include a cap on interest rates as has been suggested by some. English said the changes were intended to protect unwary consumers who were being preyed on by unscrupulous credit companies. Changes include requiring that borrowers be able to repay a loan without substantial hardship, creating a code of responsible lending, and protecting household and necessary goods from being security against a loan that is not for that item.