Money Mart Whistler, which is operated by Justenna Enterprises Inc., is one of three payday loan companies issued fines for violating provincial payday lending laws this week by Consumer Protection BC.
According to Consumer Protection BC, Money Mart Whistler was issued a $1,000 administrative penalty for a paperwork issue: failing to ensure that borrowers wrote their initials beside the cost of credit, annual interest rates and cancellation rights of their payday loan agreements.
According to Manjit Bains, the VP of corporate relations for Consumer Protection BC, consumers have a right to know about all the terms and conditions of their payday loans.
"In this particular situation it is very important for consumers to understand they have rights under consumer protection law in B.C., and one of those rights is to receive specific information that the business has an obligation to disclose - cost of credit, annual rates and cancellation rights, and so on... and the payday lending companies are required to initial this information to ensure they've received it," she said.
Pique contacted Money Mart National and Justenna Enterprises Inc., which is based in Ontario, for comment, but did not receive a reply at press time.
The $1,000 penalty was the lightest assessed in this round of enforcement by the consumer protection agency. Loan Express Corp. was ordered to cease offering, arranging or providing payday loans at any unlicensed locations. Consumer Protection BC maintains a list of licensed payday lenders at www.paydayloanrightsbc.ca.
As well Cash Store Financial Inc. was issued a $7,750 administrative penalty for contravening a previously issued Compliance Order that required Cash Store and Instaloan locations to provide borrowers with signed copies of their payday loan agreements.
In 2012, Cash Store was issued two other Compliance Orders and was required to refund illegally charged payday loan fees to borrowers. The orders are currently awaiting judicial review, with a B.C. Supreme Court hearing on June 26, 2013.