Orders of the Day — Consumer Credit Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:00 pm on 9th June 2005.

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Photo of Adam Price Adam Price Spokesperson (Economy and Taxation; Education & Skills; Miner's Compensation; Regeneration; Trade & Industry) 4:00 pm, 9th June 2005

At this stage it is only a proposal, so there has been no experience in the South African market. I think it fair to say, though, that the South African financial services sector is slightly more dysfunctional than that in the UK. I must be careful about what I say, but I think that part of the problem is due to the devolving of financial service regulation to the provinces. Each province takes a slightly different approach, so the situation in South Africa is slightly complex. But in the light of the experience of most other countries in which an interest rate cap has been introduced, I challenge the research that suggests that doing so deepens financial exclusion.

For example, research from Germany suggests that the opposite is true. There is a statutory responsibility in Germany to measure financial exclusion, which was introduced when the interest rate cap was introduced precisely because of the fear of financial exclusion. However, such exclusion has not happened; indeed, the opposite has occurred.