BC Payday Loan Association calls for independent study on industry rates; says restrictive caps will limit consumer choice

    VANCOUVER, April 19 /CNW/ - The British Columbia Payday Loan Association
(BCPLA) today applauded the provincial government for consumer protection
legislation introduced yesterday that will clamp down on unethical business
practices by some payday lenders. Once passed, the government intends to
introduce regulations to limit fees and interest rates that lenders can charge
their customers.
    But BCPLA spokesman Kevin Isfeld cautioned the government against
introducing rate caps that will restrict choices for consumers and he called
for an independent study on rates.
    "The payday loan industry in British Columbia is highly competitive and
there is a high demand for short term loans. There are multiple providers who
service a wide range of clientele. Rate caps that are too restrictive will
damage competition and restrict choice for consumers," said Mr. Isfeld.
    "There can be no question that if the government sets rates that are too
low, most operators will be forced out of business. A lot of people who have
need for the service won't be able to get a payday loan," he added.
    The BCPLA is a strong supporter of consumer protection and accepts that
the government will be implementing rate caps. To do so in a manner that
balances consumer protection with a competitive lending environment, the BCPLA
urges the government to undertake a comprehensive study of the industry that
reviews the business practices, operational costs, expenses, and risk profiles
of all industry participants in the province. This study must also include a
review of the overall economic circumstances that have precipitated the rapid
growth of this important industry.
    "This study will provide regulators with a clear picture of what
operators are currently charging and thus an accurate, timely and
market-specific benchmark for rate-setting," said Mr. Isfeld. "The BCPLA would
be more than happy to fund this study and have it conducted by an independent
    With 24 companies representing 141 storefronts, BCPLA represents 65
percent of the industry in B.C. Our members operate in both rural and urban
communities. They vary in size and scope of operations, from single store
operators to large publicly traded corporate entities.

For further information:

For further information: contact Kevin Isfeld, at (250) 374-0693, ext.
206. For more information about the BCPLA visit www.bcpla.ca or email

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