Mississauga protests in national campaign to get Ottawa to make lending more affordable

By Declan Finucane

Posted on December 13, 2021 at 11:32 a.m.

Members of a Peel advocacy group will demonstrate in front of a dozen money lending companies in central Mississauga tomorrow as part of a nationwide call in Ottawa to criminalize high interest loans that target families in low income.

Peel ACORN, an independent social and economic justice group, will bring together members and others outside of Money Mart in Cooksville shortly after noon and then continue to a number of similar financial services companies in the immediate vicinity.

Members of the organization say they chose the gathering place for its unusually large number of credit companies in a relatively small area.

The group’s protest is part of ACORN Canada’s National Day of Action for a Fair Banking where similar protests will take place in eight other cities across Canada, including Ontario, Hamilton, Toronto, London and Ottawa.

The group says it is fighting the practice of predatory lending in which unfairly high fees and interest rates are attached to payday loans and installment loans.

“We want the federal government to act. Low-income families deserve fair banking services, ”the group said on its national website.

In Peel, the organization says it is helping low-income people who take on more debt due to high interest rates and other charges come forward and pressure Ottawa to change the system, as promised. before the last elections.

The group calls on the federal government “to follow through on its commitments to explore lowering the criminal interest rate in Canada and end predatory lending in Canada.”

ACORN says the need is urgent, especially given its own recent study which shows there was a 300% increase in installment loans between 2016 and 2020.

“… and there is reason to believe that the growth continues unabated,” says Peel ACORN.

Peel ACORN members will be meeting outside this Cooksville Money Mart tomorrow afternoon. (Photo: Google)

ACORN member Donna Borden, spokesperson for the group’s national fair banking efforts, said she called on Ottawa to criminalize high interest rates and fund “non-predatory banking alternatives for high income earners. low to moderate ”.

“As it is, lenders are legally allowed to rip people off,” Borden added.

During tomorrow’s Day of Action, during which groups will also meet in Burnaby, British Columbia, Calgary, Moncton and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, members of ACORN and other people facing high interest loans will provide testimonials about their experiences with lenders, organizers say.

“The experience of people from coast to coast is testament to the government’s inability to regulate banks to provide low cost credit, which is pushing tens of thousands of low and moderate income people to lean on fringe lenders “who charge much higher rates, according to ACORN. .

ACORN, with some 140,000 members across Canada, calls on Ottawa to:

• lower interest rate on installment loans of 60 to 30 percent

• include all costs and fees associated with a loan in the interest rate

• create a federally funded fair credit benefit so all low income people have access to low cost credit options in an emergency

• reduction of NSF fees from $ 45 to $ 10

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