Loan Sharks Can Swim Through New Law
The government recently passed legislation in an attempt to stop widespread usury practices, but it seems the loan sharks will be able to manoeuvre around the new law by disguising the interest as fees.
You may have noticed the adverts while travelling on the bus. Immediate loans, just call this number, and the interest written almost invisibly small at the bottom. Thousands and thousands of percent interest. The government therefore tried to crack down on the practices by adopting a new law capping the level of interest that can be charged for lending money.
An article in daily SME today claims that the usurers can bypass the law by charging higher fees, while keeping within the confines of the law in respect of interest. The loophole comes from the inadequate preparation of the law, and means even loans with zero percent interest can charge huge fees, resulting in hundreds or thousands of percent per year. This kind of loan practice is already widespread in other countries anyway, offering 0% APR. The new Slovak law will take effect in September 2014.