The city is looking carefully at the payday loan agencies where they can operate

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“I would prefer the big banks to offer the services that payday loans do, but on more reasonable terms,” ​​says Coun. Clare Riepma

Barrie’s payday loans will attract the kind of interest you can forego.

The city council passed a motion Monday night requiring staff to investigate the feasibility of licensing payday loan facilities under the general business licensing ordinance to limit their number and concentration across Barrie.

And as part of the review of the zone regulations, the employees will also deal with the current minimum distance regulations for the use of tattoo studios, body piercing studios, pawn shops and payday loan facilities.

City officials would then report on both requests.

Count. Keenan Aylwin, who represents downtown, where many payday lenders operated, said other cities showed Barrie what can be done.

“I hope we can reduce the number and concentration of these predatory payday lenders in the city, as other communities have,” he said. “For example, the City of Guelph recently voted to limit the number of these facilities to one per community.

“This could help protect residents and our neighborhoods from being taken advantage of by their exorbitant interest rates,” added Aylwin. “This is about building strong neighborhoods and supporting people who need it most.”

Count. Clare Riepma said he would be interested to see what recommendations city officials have after further investigating the issue.

“While new regulations wouldn’t affect the existing payday loan operations, I think a licensing system along with an appropriate separation distance would help reduce the impact of those uses,” he said.

“I am aware that there are people who depend on these services. These people are usually the weakest economically, ”added Riepma. “I would prefer the big banks to offer the services that payday loans do, but on more reasonable terms.”

Barrie’s Phillip Wilkins has been in the financial services industry for more than 20 years, the past 11 years in a niche in nonprofit credit counseling and also as a certified educator. He said he welcomed any discussion and move to eliminate payday lenders.

“We have to at least severely restrict it,” he said. “Whether I advise or train, payday loans are about 80 to 90 percent of the topic we have to ask ourselves, as well as numerous questions during our financial presentations.

“The real cost of an average payday loan can be expressed in terms of an interest rate of over 400 percent,” added Wilkins. “And yes, the more financially vulnerable are mostly the collateral damage.”

The province authorized municipalities to restrict payday loan facilities in 2018. Barrie’s zoning regulations already stipulate a minimum distance of 100 meters for payday loan facilities in the city center.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, a branch of federal government, defines a payday loan as a short term loan with high fees that make it a very expensive way to borrow money. Up to $ 1,500 can be borrowed, but the loan must be paid back on the borrower’s next paycheck, the agency says. Borrowers in Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Alberta, and British Columbia have up to 62 days to repay them.

Payday loans are designed to cover a cash shortage until the borrower’s next payment or for a short period of time, the agency says. These loans should be avoided for running costs such as rent, groceries, or utility bills. Private companies offer payday loans in stores and online.

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