SUNBIZ

Consumer Credit Act review aims for simplicity

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism held a Consumer Credit Act 1999 review workshop in Suva yesterday. “The main aim of the review is to put in place a
15 Mar 2017 18:10
Consumer Credit Act review aims for simplicity

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism held a Consumer Credit Act 1999 review workshop in Suva yesterday.

“The main aim of the review is to put in place a Consumer Credit law that is simple, provides clear rules for credit providers, as well as, adequate protection to the consumer and is easy and practical to implement,” the ministry’s permanent secretary Shaheen Ali said during the event.

Mr Ali said they started the review process of the Consumer Credit Act 1999 in September last year.

“As part of the process, we had undertaken a series of stakeholder consultations and a workshop to present the initial findings. The last workshop on the draft law was held on 13 October 2016,” he said.

“Since then we have made considerable progress in terms of incorporating stakeholder views and determining the institutional capacity and structure to implement the new law.”

Mr Ali said: “The key purpose of the Consumer Credit Act Review is to empower credit providers through streamlining of the legal framework, for the provision of credit and ensuring that consumers or debtors are adequately protected and allowed to make informed decision before entering into a credit contract.

“The revised legal framework will also introduce responsible lending standards, where the credit providers make reasonable inquiries about a consumers’ financial situation, their requirements and objectives, take reasonable steps to verify the consumer’s financial situation and make assessment on whether the credit contract is ‘suitable’ for the consumer.”

Furthermore, he added it would provide clearly defined legal redress systemto allow consumers to have clear recourse, in the event their rights are breached in a credit contract.

“In addition to providing protection for consumers of credit, the new law will provide clear rules for the credit providers to allow for a fair and level playing field in the industry, which encourages commerce and business.

“It is worth noting that the consumer credit legislation is not only about regulating the financial sector, but is also about consumer protection and protection of micro, small and medium enterprises. The scope of covers credit provided to a natural person or a small business, a consumer lease, mortgage, hires purchase, to name a few.

“This draft Act will not purport to create an unnecessary layer of registration or licensing of financial institutions.  The Reserve Bank of Fiji is vested with the powers to register financial institutions, however, other non-deposit taking agencies that deal with credit transactions need to be registered also. This meeting provides an opportunity to discuss and validate these aspects.”

Following this consultation, the relevant changes will be incorporated into the draft Bill and presented to Cabinet next month. 

“Upon Cabinet’s endorsement, the Draft Bill will be tabled in Parliament and it is expected to go through a Standing Committee that will undertake further consultations with all stakeholders and general public. The Committee will provide a report to Parliament,” he said.

Subscribe to E-Edition
pacific island top up
Air Nuigini
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: