Authorities crack down on unlicensed credit providers

July 11, 2024 5:43 am

The government is taking decisive action to address rising concerns regarding unlicensed credit providers in Fiji.

This comes as the Consumer Council has recorded 329 complaints against such providers over the past four years, totaling over $400,000.

Minister for Trade Manoa Kamikamica states that these unlicensed credit providers have engaged in various unethical practices.

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He adds this includes charging unjustified fees, misrepresenting loan conditions, failing to deliver items purchased on hire purchase, delaying refunds of overpayments, imposing predatory loan conditions, and withholding loan documents from consumers.

Kamikamica emphasizes that these practices have significantly harmed consumers, burdening them with unnecessary debt and financial stress.

Consumer Council of Fiji Chief Executive Seema Shandil describes the complaints against unlicensed credit providers as alarming and unacceptable.

She adds that these practices not only violate ethical standards but also have a detrimental impact on the finance sector as a whole.

Shandil stresses the urgent need for a robust regulatory framework to protect consumers and ensure transparent and fair operations by all credit providers.