• Fri. Sep 23rd, 2022

Protection from expensive lenders from May 1st

ByCindy J. Daddario

Apr 29, 2022

Financially vulnerable residents of British Columbia will enjoy better protection on Sunday, May 1 with new laws regulating lenders offering high-priced credit products.

“The enactment of this new framework strengthens consumer protections and improves financial literacy to help people make important decisions,” said Mike Farnworth, Secretary of Public Safety and Attorney General. “Those using or considering using expensive financial services will benefit from regulation and oversight of the industry.”

As part of the 2019 amendments to the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, businesses offering high-priced credit products, such as Consumer Protection BC.

This oversight will help businesses understand and comply with these new requirements, and consumers are protected and able to make informed choices when using costly alternative financial services.

The changes also establish new transparency requirements and borrower protections. Rules prohibit certain fees, set requirements for loan agreements, and establish borrower rights and remedies.

These improvements are part of the government’s 2018 Consumer Financial Protection Action Plan to strengthen consumer protections and improve affordability for BC’s most financially vulnerable. Earlier phases included enhanced financial protections for consumers using payday loans and government check cashing services.

A new Consumer Financial Education Fund, also effective May 1, 2022, will improve consumer financial literacy and awareness across the province. The fund is supported by the industry as part of their annual fees.

As the provincial consumer protection agency, Consumer Protection BC will administer the new framework and the Consumer Financial Education Fund. Information on high-cost consumer credit products and the business licensing process can be found on the Consumer Protection BC website.

Learn more:

Action plan to protect consumers:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019PSSG0020-000263

Regulating expensive credit products to protect consumers:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021PSSG0093-002228

Borrow Money Online Resources:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/borrowing-money

Information on BC consumer protection laws – Consumer Protection BC:
www.consumerprotectionbc.ca