Incorrectly Targeted By Media And Consumer Advocates

Oct 21 2016

Incorrectly Targeted By Media And Consumer Advocates Just To Beef Up A Story

CEO, Phil Johns, and Members are extremely disappointed and concerned that media continue to use the disparaging term  'payday lenders' to refer to the highly regulated small loan industry.  It is also obvious that reporters are not checking their facts before going to press  about the current small loans industry as they continue to refer to credit products which no longer exist and therefore cannot be blamed for any perceived problems affecting small loan consumers.

Phil Johns states that, "Good Shepherd and the Queensland government are using outdated information to solve a problem with tax payer money that no longer exists." 

Phil's comment was in response to an article yesterday in the Brisbane Times that reported on a joint venture between the Queensland Government and Good Shepherd to provide NILS (No Interest Loans) to the Cairns and Gold Coast communities.  The reason for the joint venture was stated to be to combat supposedly  "unscrupuous lenders" providing 'payday' loans.

"Payday loans were banned over 3 ½ years ago," continues Phil, "and what is in place now is the highly regulated “Small Amount Credit Contract” (SACC) with government capped fees and with significant consumer protections".

 NCPA Members have also expressed considerable concern that the small loans industry continues to be blacklisted for supposedly supplying 'payday loans'.  Far from being 'unscrupulous'', Members take extreme care to ensure they are providing SACC loans only to those who are able to repay.  Members take their Responsible Lending Obligations seriously and meticulously gather all application data required by legislation and then, in most cases, more data then legally necessary to ensure that the consumer is not financially stressed if the applicaiton is approved.

Board Members have also commented that NCPA has offered to help government wipe out the real "unscrupulous payday lenders" as there are still businesses that offer small amount credit products even though they are not ASIC licensed.  These unlicensed, and therefore unregulated, businesses are the true 'unscrupulous payday lenders'. "Our members are not unscrupulous and they do not provide payday loans".

Another Board Member stated, "I am sick of being told I am 'unscrupulous' especially when it is simply a line provided to the media by consumer advocates who openly would prefer to have the whole small loan industry closed down. In just two of the documents we use to ensure we are compliant and the customer can afford the loan, we have a lending checklist of 30 questions and our staff must put every application through 4 pages of meticulous processes regarding how to go about completing an application and what information to look and ask for.

NCPA welcomes any reporter to make contact directly with CEO Phil Johns or at least to refer to our information website where up-to-date statististics and factual information can be found concerning the small loans industry in Australia. CLICK HERE for a short video whcih gives summary of the very big protections that are part of the SACC (small loans) product.