The province says proposed amendments to the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act will strengthen consumer protection and improve affordability against high-cost loans.
The amendments include rules for lenders of instalment loans to create borrowers’ rights and remedies, set limits on the total cost of borrowing, prohibit certain fees and charges and restrict the use of borrowers’ personal information.
The public safety and solicitor general’s ministry says the new regulations will provide stronger protections and safeguards for consumers in B.C.
In a release Tuesday, the ministry said consumers are often faced with terms and conditions that may be more than they can afford.
Some British Columbians are one necessity away from needing a payday or high-cost loan. We’re making changes to make these services more affordable and to help protect financially vulnerable people in BC. https://t.co/P2eTb3bfmJ pic.twitter.com/dFhqqDx9AJ
— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) February 26, 2019
“Turning to a high-cost loan or other product could potentially leave the borrower trapped in an endless cycle of debt payments, plunging them further into poverty,” the release said.
The province says British Columbians can afford high-cost credit products more readily and be more informed about borrowing money and builds on rules previously introduced on payday loans and cheque-cashing fees.
A new consumer financial education fund will be established under the act to enhance consumer financial education.