Cash Store opined on payday loan legislation

Last month, The Cash Store Financial Services Inc. executive Michael Thompson told us former provincial Liberal campaign co-chair Patrick Kinsella did lobbying work for his company in the "spring of 2007." At the time, Mr. Thompson said Mr. Kinsella - who has repeatedly denied being a lobbyist - was hired, in part, to bring then solicitor general John Les "up to speed on what our position was with respect to the regulation of payday loans in the province of British Columbia." But the company has also publicly opined on the Campbell administration's efforts to regulate those loans.

In a news release issued by Cash Store Financial on June 1, 2007, its chairman and chief executive officer Gordon Reydal stated his company - along with "many operators in B.C.'s payday loan industry" - were "disappointed with several features" in the government's Business Practices and Consumer Protection (Payday Loans) Amendment Act, which was introduced two months earlier.

Specifically, continued Mr. Reydal, the leglsation "does not strike a proper balance between consumer protection and fostering a competitive lending environment. In fact, the Bill as presently drafted is bad for consumers, as it will restrict the range of product offerings available to them."

Which is why Cash Store Financial "applauded the Government of British Columbia for its decision ot to advance" the bill "before the close of the province's legislative session." The bill was given royal assent six months later.

Mr. Kinsella has never registered as a lobbyist for Cash Store Financial Services - or any other company. According to a written statement issued by his company, The Progressive Group is "confident it has consistently and correctly followed the requirements of the Act," registering "each and every" time it communicates with public office holders on behalf of clients.

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