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Urgent need to regulate moneylenders who are preying on most vulnerable in society – Denise Mitchell TD

12 December, 2018 - by Denise Mitchell TD

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs Denise Mitchell TD has called for urgent action to tackle what she described as ‘disgraceful’ interest rates being charged by licensed moneylenders.

She was speaking on a Sinn Féin Private Members' Bill which seeks to cap the amount of APR chargeable on loans issued by licenced moneylenders at 36 per cent.

Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday, Deputy Mitchell said:

“As we approach Christmas time, many families across the State are turning to these moneylending companies in order to ensure that their families – and in particular their children – have a special Christmas.

“Unfortunately, the huge interest charged by these organisations only helps drive people further and further into debt.

“I note that one moneylender based in south Dublin was given a moneylenders license by the Central Bank in July which allows it to charge 287.72% APR interest including collection charges.

“That is quite frankly disgusting.”

The Dublin Bay north TD also said research shows that those turning to moneylenders are primarily women from working class backgrounds and also lone parents:

“The reality is that the companies charging these disgraceful interest rates are leeches. They are preying on the most vulnerable in society to line their own pockets.”

Noting that many other EU countries have caps on interest rates that money lenders can charge, Deputy Mitchell added:

“We need to ensure that some controls are placed on these organisations who make profits off of people in desperate situations.”

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