Commerce Commission taking Moola to court, alleging irresponsible lending

Commerce Commission taking Moola to court, alleging irresponsible lending
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The Commerce Commission will be taking Moola to court over an alleged breach of lender responsibility principles.

Moola offers easily accessible short-term loans of up to $5000 via its two websites, and

Between June 2015 and November 2017 Moola offered loans with interest rates of 182.5 percent and 547.5 percent annually, depending on the term of the loan.

In a statement on Monday the commission alleges during this time Moola failed to exercise the care, diligence and skill of a responsible lender.

It claims Moola failed to inquire whether borrowers would be able to repay their loans without "substantial hardship," and did not treat borrowers reasonably and ethically when breaches of loan agreements occurred.

It also alleges Moola failed to ensure loan agreements were not oppressive and failed to ensure it did not induce borrowers into agreements by oppressive means.

The commission seeks to stop Moola lending money until it takes steps to meet legal obligations.

It also wants Moola to return the cost of borrowing to 50 identified borrowers, and declare it breached the Credits Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003.

The investigation into Moola's practice was spurred on by a referral from a budget advisory service in Christchurch.

The matter is now before the courts.