South Australians will be better protected from unscrupulous payday lenders and those offering consumer leases, under draft legislation tabled in State Parliament today.
Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said there was a pressing need to act to protect South Australians from payday loan sharks as discussions on a nationwide approach have gone nowhere.
Last year all State Ministers called for urgent reform of payday lending practices.
“Given the Federal Minister has not been prepared to act to protect vulnerable South Australians, I will,” said Attorney-General Vickie Chapman.
“There’s no doubt the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic are having an impact on many families – and these pressures would make more vulnerable South Australians susceptible to these operators.
“Payday lenders can charge extravagant interest rates ultimately heaping enormous financial hardship on struggling South Australians.
“In the absence of a stronger national regulatory framework, it’s essential action is taken at a local level to ensure South Australians are protected from these predatory practices.
“Under the proposed laws, unsolicited advertising by payday lenders would be banned, as would early termination fees.
“In addition, lenders would be required to ensure repayments for these loans are for equal amounts, at equal intervals across the duration of the loan period.”
“The Bill also seeks to prohibit door-to-door selling in relation to consumer leases and requires licensees entering consumer leases to disclose the base price of the good, as well as the difference between the base price and total repayments.”
Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said the Marshall Government would be consulting on the draft Bill, and encouraged members of the public to have their say.
“These types of loans are far too common in our state, and regulation in this area could have wide ranging impacts on vulnerable South Australians,” said Attorney-General Chapman.
“Given the importance of these laws, I would encourage people to review the draft legislation and offer views on how we can best regulate this sector.
“We will also be conducting targeted consultation with the social welfare sector and other key stakeholders.”
The draft Bill will be available at https://cbs.sa.gov.au/campaigns/payday-lender-laws, and members of the public can provide feedback by emailing [email protected]