The Consumer Credit Act is very technical and needs to be simplified so that everyone understands it. Trade Minister Faiyaz Koya says the Act was to provide for the rights and responsibilities of consumers and credit providers – but consumers are becoming vulnerable. This is why a review is being undertaken. ‘’And the methodology for the calculation of interest rates, fees and charges also need to be simplified and clearly laid out in the Act. There’s also lack of enforcement, poor consumer awareness of rights, the onus on consumers to prove the breach of rights, inaccessible and redress mechanisms. Madam Speaker, these are the things that will actually require to justify the review of the act’’. A study in 2012 identified gaps in the Act that need fixing to provide immediate redress. He says increases in complaints to his ministry and the Consumer Council led to the comprehensive review.
This article first appeared on www.fbc.com.fj on June 2, 2016.