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US federal regulator seeks limits on payday lenders

New York

IN THE world of consumer finance, they are chameleons: payday lenders that alter their practices and shift their products ever so slightly to work around state laws aimed at stamping out short-term loans that can come with interest rates exceeding 300 per cent.

Such manoeuvres by the roughly US$46 billion payday loan industry, state regulators say, have frustrated their efforts to protect consumers.

Now, for the first time, a federal regulator is entering the fray, drafting regulations that could sharply reduce the number of unaffordable loans that lenders can make.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created after the 2008 financial crisis, will soon release the first draft of federal...

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