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Rules for registering finance sector to net loan sharks

Press Release: Loan sharks will be netted in new rules announced today requiring all financial service providers to be registered and belong to a dispute resolution scheme.

Tuesday, June 19th 2007, 4:30PM
Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel and Consumer Affairs Minister Judith Tizard said all financial service providers including fringe lenders, known as loan sharks, will have to register and meet "negative assurance" checks to confirm they have no relevant criminal convictions, are not undischarged bankrupts, and are not subject to a director/manager banning order. In addition to these checks they will have to be a member of a dispute resolution scheme.

Tizard said this new level of scrutiny within the sector would be welcome news for consumers.

The Ministers also outlined a framework for dispute resolution covering the full range of financial service providers.

“We’ve got successful voluntary industry-led schemes – such as the Banking Ombudsman – covering parts of the financial sector at the moment. However, they don't provide coverage across the whole sector so that means that often court is the only forum for consumers to seek redress.

"Dispute resolution provides a simple, low cost alternative to going to court," Tizard said.

The new system will allow industry participants to form dispute resolution schemes that respond to the particular needs of their part of the financial sector.

“We’ve consulted with industry and are confident there will be full coverage of the financial sector but there will be provision for a government-established scheme should there be a need,” Dalziel said.

Schemes will have to be approved by the Commerce Minister in consultation with the Ministers of Consumer Affairs and Finance on criteria of accessibility, independence, fairness, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness.

The Ministry of Economic Development will produce guidance and educational material to inform consumers about the availability of the new dispute resolution and redress mechanisms.

The dispute resolution rules were announced today as part of a comprehensive package of changes to regulation of the non-bank financial sector.

« Commerce Minister announces financial sector changesNon-bank deposit takers to come under new rules »

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