(Wikimedia Commons)

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

A two-year-long investigation has netted nearly $900,000 for borrowers unfairly targeted by payday loans.

Consumer Protection BC had found data to show that three payday lenders had reported “abnormally high sales of credit insurance” in early 2017.

In the two years since, a multi-agency investigation found that due to the lenders’ “aggressive and deceptive” sales of insurance products, their borrowers were entitled to nearly $400,000 in refunds.

Consumer Protection BC found that two of the lenders were misleading borrowers, and one was not giving them enough time to pay off their loans.

The investigation led to more than half of the payday lenders in the province agreeing to refund about $475,000, leading to a total of $875,000 back for impacted customers.

“As we broadened that investigation, we discovered that the same types of unlawful activities were widespread within the industry,” said Shahid Noorani, vice president of regulatory services.

“We’ve spent the last year correcting lending behaviour that violated borrower’s rights.”

The province tightened payday loan regulations at the beginning of 2017, pushing the maximum charge per $100 borrowed at $17, down from $23 and around the same as average credit card interest rates.

READ MORE: New B.C. regulations on payday loans don’t address real issues: advocates


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