In a speech delivered by Gráinne McEvoy, Director of Consumer Protection at Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach, McEvoy discussed the Consumer Credit (Amendment) Bill 2018 and stated that there are currently 35 moneylenders licensed to operate in Ireland. The speech outlines further requirements for moneylenders, in addition to the existing regulations.
The licensed moneylending sector in Ireland
There are currently 35 moneylenders licensed to operate in Ireland. The business models operated by licensed moneylenders generally fall within the following categories:
- Home collection firms;
- Firms operating a catalogue business model; and
- Other firms including firms providing credit to fund gym membership, insurance premiums etc. and firms involved in the provision of goods on credit.
The Consumer Protection framework and our supervisory approach
In addition to existing requirements, moneylenders are now required to:
- Include prominent, high cost warnings in all advertisements for moneylending loans with an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) over 23 per cent. The warning must also prompt consumers to consider alternatives.
- Moneylenders are not be permitted to make an unsolicited offer to apply for credit to consumers who have recently made, or are nearing, full repayment of a moneylending loan.
- Limit the moneylenders’ contact with consumers and limit the offer and promotion of loans to consumers.
- Where a loan is required for basic needs, such as accommodation or electricity, moneylenders will be required to inform the consumer that a moneylending loan may not be in their best interest and to provide contact information for the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS).
- New requirements for the staff and agents working in the sector, designed to enhance their professional standards.
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