ACORN Members Demand an End to Predatory Lending!

 

Posted November 30, 2017

 

Across the country today, ACORN members and allies took to the streets to demand fair financial services! Around 13% of Canadians are underbanked, meaning they have a bank account but are denied access to basic credit by mainstream banking, forcing them to rely on high-interest lenders charging predatory rates.

 

With the Federal Government currently reviewing the Bank Act, now is the time for change! ACORN’s National Day of Action calls for the government to mandate the banks to make banking accessible to low- and moderate-income Canadians, including:

 

Access to low-interest credit for emergencies;

Access to low-interest overdraft protection;

No holds on cheques;

Lower NSF fees from $45 to $10;

Alternatives to predatory lenders, such as postal banking and credit union credit products geared toward low and moderate income families;

Creation a national anti-predatory lending strategy;

A real-time national tracking system (or database) to help stop roll over loans;

Amend the Criminal Code to lower the maximum interest rate from 60% to 30%.

 

We hope the big banks and government heard our voices loud and clear today. We need fair banking NOW!

 

Action Details

Ottawa

ACORN members and allies from CUPW marched down Montreal Road, making stops at six payday loan companies and one rent-to-own furniture company. We visited MP Mona Fortier's office to deliver a letter asking for a meeting and for her support on our campaign demands. Mona was out of the office but we heard that she is sympathetic to the issue and her aide will follow up about a meeting.

 

Toronto

ACORN members and allies rallied outside of Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s constituency office in  Toronto. We delivered petitions for fair banking and asked for him to stop ignoring our requests to meet. The constituency assistant advised he would follow up with a comment from the MInister, and a meeting. Press were in attendance, including the Toronto Star.

 

Hamilton

ACORN members and allies, including Hamilton Poverty Roundtable and Council of Canadians Hamilton Chapter marched for fair banking, visiting CIBC and Cash Money. As a follow up, members will be delivering petitions to their local MP. CHCH TV 960AM interviewed ACORN leader Mike Wood.

 

Mississauga

ACORN members came out to present the MP for Mississauga East - Cooksville, Peter Fonseca, with our fair banking demands and request a meeting. Members did chants outside and the co-chair, Virginia Vaithilingam gave a speech criticising the banks for ripping off and denying credit to low income people. The constituency assistant said that the MP will be back in Mississauga on December 18th and will meet with members upon his return.

 

Metro Vancouver

ACORN members delivered letters to the banks in New West. City councillor Jaimie Mcevoy spoke in support of our campaign and praised members for their hard work in the local community. Omni TV attended the action and interviewed member Melanie Campbell on her experience of predatory lending.

 

Halifax

ACORN leader Jordan, with new ACORN members, delivered our demands to the big banks. They then marched to Liberal MP Andy Fillmore’s office to deliver petitions for fair banking.

 

Regina

ACORN members and allies from the Making Peace Vigil collected signatures on ACORN’s fair banking petition and distributed flyers to spread the word - fair banking now!

 

Calgary

ACORN members delivered our demands to the banks and collected signatures on our fair banking petition in downtown Calgary!

 

Montréal

ACORN members delivered our fair banking demands to the MP of Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Sœurs, Marc Miller!

 

PRESS

Toronto Star: Activists across Canada demand fair banking for low-income people

CHCH: Protesters call on the big banks to make banking more affordable

Rabble: Canadian banks need to stop fleecing low and moderate income users

CBC: Social justice organization demands payday loan reform, Sask. credit union answers