Loan sharks feeling the heat

A bill aimed at cracking down on loan sharks and protecting vulnerable consumers has passed its second reading in Parliament.

The Credit Contracts and Financial Services Law Reform Bill, which has cross-party support, puts the onus on lenders to make sure borrowers can meet repayments.

It also improves the disclosure of fees and interest rates, but has been criticised for stopping short of introducing a cap on maximum interest rates. 

Short-term 'payday lenders' typically charge weekly interest rates that can work out to be as high as 400 per cent on an annual basis.

The Dominion Post