Introduce laws to monitor financial institutions — M.P. Ali'imalemanu
Member of Parliament Ali'imalemanu Alofa Tuuau has appealed to the Government to introduce laws to monitor financial service institutions that target low income families with high interest rates.
The call was made by the M.P. in Parliament this week, which also led to concerns expressed on the floor that the Development Bank was not responsive to the needs of ordinary citizens.
“The financial services are offering loans with high interest rates," Ali'imalemanu said.
"The loan services to the village every Wednesday to collect the repayments and if one repayment is missed, the women in these centers have to fork up the money to cover for these repayments. The van does not leave until all the repayments are made."
Ali'imalemanu gave an example.
“If I loan for $1,000; I get only $800 and yet I pay back $1,500 and this does not include the $200 previously deducted.
“There should be laws in place to govern these types of loans, especially the interest rate are quite high.”
The M.P. for Salega, Olo Fiti Vaai, supported the call by Ali'imalemanu.
“The main reason people take on these loans is because of the easy access process," he said.
“The Development Bank should make their process enticing and simple for members of the public to utilise their loan services; similar tactic to what these financial services are offering.
"That is why the public don’t really care for the high interest rate, they look at the simple process,” said Olo.
He then urged the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, to consider making the D.B.S. loan requirements simpler for members of the public.