A parliamentary initiative to ban or severely restrict the practice of granting instant loans by text message was presented to Parliament on Wednesday. The initiative has been signed by 116 of Finland’s 200 MPs.
Under the instant loan scheme, consumers can get quick cash by sending an SMS message to the company, which deposits the requested amount on the applicant’s bank account, which can then be withdrawn from a cash machine.
A separate initiative, calling for restrictions on interest rates and costs of such loans was signed by 127 MPs. Both initiatives have signatories from all parliamentary groups.
The first to sign the initiative on a total ban on quick loans is Sampsa Kataja, vice chairman of the parliamentary group of the National Coalition Party. According to Kataja, the instant loan business preys on people’s desperation and poor sense of judgement.