Etusivu \ Consumer Issues \ Financing Services and Debt Collection \ Progress in the development of payday loan regulation

Progress in the development of payday loan regulation

In February 2017, the Ministry of Justice published a review memorandum on alternatives for developing payday loan regulation (in Finnish). The memo was based on an initiative (in Finnish) made by the Consumer Ombudsman to the Ministry of Justice in September 2016 to review the legislation on consumer credit and to determine whether there is a need to change the national regulations on unreasonable agreement terms and conditions. In the initiative, the Consumer Ombudsman stated that the interest rate cap should be extended to all consumer credit as, for consumers, the greatest problem involves the large credit costs of credits of EUR 2,000 and more that are not within the scope of interest rate restrictions.

The review memorandum of the Ministry of Justice investigated how the problems caused by payday loans could be curbed through legislative changes. In its statement (in Finnish), the FCCA advocated measures such as expanding the interest rate ceiling to apply to all consumer credit, improving the supervisory methods available to the Consumer Ombudsman, equating peer-to-peer loans with consumer loans in debt collection, and assessing the need to revise the regulation on unreasonable contract terms.

In the blog article (in Finnish) published in November 2017, the Consumer Ombudsman emphasised the urgency of new credit regulation.  In addition to indebtedness and marginalisation, the flaws of the payday loan industry also cause other expenses to society as debt advice and debt recovery services, courts, and officials are frequently forced to resolve problems caused by payday loan companies that circumvent the interest rate cap regulations.