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The alternative consumer credit market (ACCM) in Canada consists of cheque cashing outlets, 'payday' and 'instant auto' loan companies, rent-to-own outlets and pawnbrokers. These are credit grantors that address a consumer demand for small-sum short-term credit and/or that generally target lower income groups.
The Consumer Measures Committee working group on the ACCM – chaired by British Columbia, with representation from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Québec and the Federal Government – is examining ways to apply the equity principle to the ACCM. That is, how can an equivalent level of consumer protection be afforded consumers in the ACCM as that enjoyed by consumers in the traditional credit marketplace? In so doing, the working group is faced with two primary issues:
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