Crackdown on rogue money lenders

Rogue finance companies and loan sharks face being shut down immediately under plans that could come into force from next spring – Published on The Telegraph, by Louisa Peacock, Oct. 24, 2012.

The Office of Fair Trading OFT yesterday began a 12-week consultation on the proposals which would allow the watchdog to suspend firms’ consumer credit licences and stop them trading instantly if it believes there is an urgent need to protect consumers from harm. The OFT currently has the power to suspend licences but businesses can continue to trade pending appeals, which can take two years to be heard.  

Plans to put such businesses out of action immediately were announced by the Government in July. The move, which could apply to any lender which holds a consumer credit licence, is part of wider government plans to strengthen consumer protection and clamp down on the payday lending and debt management industries.

The watchdog said factors it would consider when using its new powers include evidence that the business has engaged in violence, fraud or dishonesty, is preying on vulnerable consumers or that it has failed to listen to previous warnings about its behaviour.
David Fisher, OFT director of credit, said: “This is an important new power that will allow us to deal quickly with businesses posing an immediate and serious risk to consumers” … (full text and related articles).

Links:

Bloomberg’s money talks; it says his superPAC could back a mayoral candidate in 2013. The millions the mayor has put into the superPAC to influence elections could dramatically shift the course of next year’s mayoral race in favor of one of his political allies, on NY Daily News, Oct. 23, 2012;

Colleges Tell Students to Avoid Loans, on MoneyTalksNews, Oct. 23, 2012.

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