Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (118)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

122 Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Finance if an agency (details supplied) is regulated and if there is a maximum rate of interest that it can charge clients; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35289/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

I can confirm to the Deputy that the firm mentioned by him is regulated as a moneylender by the Central Bank. I refer the Deputy to Part VIII of the Consumer Credit Act 1995, as amended, for detailed information on the licensing procedure with regard to moneylenders. Moneylenders have to apply annually to the Central Bank to have their licences renewed. Section 93 of the Consumer Credit Act 1995 sets out the Central Bank's powers on the grant or refusal of a moneylender's licence.

A moneylender's licence granted by the Central Bank is specific to that moneylender. Each individual licence outlines the specific products that the moneylender offers, the annual percentage rate for each product and the total cost of credit for each product. The Central Bank may refuse to grant a moneylender's licence if, in the Bank's opinion, the cost of credit to be charged is excessive or if any of the terms and conditions attaching thereto are unfair. I have been informed by the Central Bank that the associated maximum rate of APR that the licensed moneylender mentioned by the Deputy is authorised to charge is 187.22%. The register of moneylenders licensed by the Central Bank is available on the Bank's website: www.centralbank.ie.