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British Columbia B.C. tightens payday lending practices; changes to take effect on Sept. 1

New limits on fees for cashing cheques and high-cost loans will take effect on Sept. 1 in British Columbia.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says in a statement the changes tighten the rules for payday-loan businesses and aim to protect people from paying high fees to cash cheques and borrow money.

Mr. Farnworth says the changes will help some of B.C.’s most vulnerable people who use non-traditional lenders and credit providers to cash social assistance or disability cheques.

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The changes that go into effect on Sept. 1 include: lowering the maximum fee to $15 for every $100 borrowed and capping the fee for cashing a social assistance or disability cheque at $2, plus 1 per cent of the value of the cheque, up to a maximum of $10.

The minister says the changes also prohibit payday lenders from requiring, requesting or accepting consent to use or disclose the personal information of a borrower for anything other than arranging or providing a payday loan.

B.C.’s social-development ministry says people in B.C. took out 805,000 payday loans in 2016, for a total of $369-million at an average of $460 per individual loan.

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