The Honorable Scott M. Stringer Comptroller, New York One Centre Street Nyc, NY 10007
Dear Comptroller Stringer:
The undersigned businesses urge you to definitely instantly and permanently divest ny CityвЂ™s retirement funds from payday lending organizations вЂ“ whose loans are categorically unlawful in nyc. City pension funds invested significantly more than $20 million in payday high-cost and lending installment financing organizations in 2016. Also, City pension funds spent almost $160 million in Lone celebrity Fund VIII, a personal equity investment that has DFC worldwide, Inc.,i which, in change, owns several payday loan providers, including cash Mart while the Check Cashing Store.
Spending pension that is public in disreputable payday financing organizations raises a primary conflict for the City. Not merely do these businesses make triple-digit rate of interest loans which can be unlawful in nyc, but the majority of those happen the topic of enforcement actions for flagrant violations regarding the legislation; mistreated clients; and encountered allegations of misleading and defrauding investors вЂ“ including pension that is public вЂ“ in states where these are generally allowed to use.
Among the list of investments : в—Џ money America Overseas, Inc. and EZCORP, Inc. have now been the topics of major enforcement actions because of the customer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for illegally court that is robo-signing, breaking the federal Military Lending Act,ii and unlawfully harassing borrowers at their houses and workplaces,iii among other violations. в—Џ Cash America Overseas, Inc. additionally made loans with interest levels that surpassed 1,000per cent to Pennsylvania residents,iv in breach of PennsylvaniaвЂ™s customer security regulations. в—Џ World Acceptance Corp. happens to be under research because of the CFPBv since March 2014 to find out whether or not the companyвЂ™s exploitative business practicesvi come in breach associated with the customer Financial Protection Act, the reality in Lending Act, as well as other federal customer monetary regulations. в—Џ Enova Overseas, Inc., operator for the payday that is online CashNetUSA, ended up being discovered to possess gotten probably the most consumer complaints among all payday lenders,vii in line with the CFPBвЂ™s customer problem database. в—Џ DFC Global, Inc. had been sued by a general general general public retirement investment regarding the grounds so it вЂњmisrepresented to investors that  it complied with federal government laws and guidance pertaining to reckless financing methods, and  that the business made вЂprudent,вЂ™ вЂconservative,вЂ™ and вЂresponsibleвЂ™ underwriting decisions when creating loans.вЂќviii
We think these assets pose reputational, appropriate, regulatory and financial dangers, and that you have got an ethical and fiduciary responsibility to divest.
Nyc is among the 15 states, plus D.C., where strong state usury rules and enforcement effortlessly ban payday lending. brand brand brand New YorkвЂ™s usury guidelines are on the list of strongest into the country, capping interest levels at 25% APR. As a result of our ban, New Yorkers save about $790 million each year in feesix that payday loan providers and their ilk would otherwise siphonвЂ”an estimate that doesn’t also add bank overdraft charges and other fallout that is economic pay day loans.
In states where in fact the payday financing industry is allowed to work, individuals struggling to obtain from paycheck to paycheck are methodically targeted for high-cost loans they can’t manage. Payday loan providers charge exorbitant costs and interest that is shockingly high вЂ“ typically between 300% and 400% APR. The payday financing company model is centered on loan-flipping, as borrowers typically must refinance or move over their loans вЂ“ frequently multiple times вЂ“ ensnaring them in a long-lasting period of financial obligation. Studies have shown that communities of color are disproportionately targeted of these debt-trap loans.x
Inspite of the clear great things about banning payday loan providers along with other fringe financial services businesses have actually for a long time pressed legislation in Albany that will legalize high-cost predatory lending in nyc. Those efforts have now been beaten by way of advocacy that is tireless a statewide coalition of civil legal rights, faith-based, work and community teams.
This season, lawmakers once once once once again reaffirmed brand brand brand brand brand brand New YorkвЂ™s longstanding dedication to maintaining pay day loans away from our state by rejecting a few billsxi вЂ“ supported by effective passions like brand brand brand brand New YorkвЂ™s check cashing industry and a California-based вЂњfintechвЂќ corporation вЂ“ that could have inflated brand brand brand brand New YorkвЂ™s usury regulations and launched the floodgates to predatory financing.
Meanwhile, at the time of financial 12 months 2016, the five new york retirement funds purchased at minimum six associated with countryвЂ™s largest payday and installment that is high-cost вЂ“ money America Global, Inc., Enova Overseas, Inc., EZCORP, Inc., First Cash Financial solutions, Inc., Regional Management Corp., and World Acceptance Corp. вЂ“ and ended up being spent greatly in Lone celebrity Fund VIII, a personal equity investment that has a few notorious predatory financing organizations, like the payday financing giant, DFC worldwide.
These assets fly when confronted with brand brand brand New YorkвЂ™s groundbreaking and effective actions to help keep lending that is payday of our state. New YorkвЂ™s enforcement agencies, as an example, have actually cracked straight straight straight straight down on unlawful payday lending, issuing warnings to collectors it was unlawful to get on payday advances in Ny; directing payday lenders to cease making unlawful pay day loans to Nyc State residents; and contacting banking institutions and their re re re re payments processors to avoid permitting payday loan providers to gain access to New YorkersвЂ™ bank records. Nyc in addition has acquired contract through the credit that is national to stop reporting unlawful pay day loans on New YorkersвЂ™ credit file.
Nyc has made essential strides toward financial equality and possibility recently. This past year, as an example, the worker-led вЂњFight for $15вЂќ motion won a landmark enhance to your stateвЂ™s minimal wage. And al though we’ve even more work ahead, bankrolling a business that methodically exploits employees, retirees, yet others struggling to have by and strips wide range from low-income communities and communities of color threatens not just to undercut those gains вЂ“ it really is an affront to nyc values.
This past year, nj-new jersey, that also efficiently bans lending that is payday offered its pension investment assets in a personal equity fund that held Ace Cash Express, another of this nationвЂ™s biggest payday lenders.xii Commenting regarding the stateвЂ™s divestment out of this lending that is payday, the president of this nj-new jersey State Investment Council reported, вЂњThe bright line is whatвЂ™s legal to complete and whatвЂ™s maybe maybe perhaps perhaps maybe perhaps not appropriate to accomplish within the state of New Jersey.вЂќxiii At least, the brand new York City retirement funds should follow this exact same bright line and completely and completely divest from payday financing businesses.
Please contact Andy Morrison at brand brand New Economy venture with questions: 212-680-5100 x210.
Brooklyn-Wide Interagency Council on Aging (BWICA) academic Fund, Inc. DД“mos Fordham Law class Feerick Center for personal Justice trusted old fashioned Lower East Side (GOLES) Housing Court Answers, Inc. Housing and Family Services of better ny, Inc. Los Angeles Fuerza Unida, Inc. LatinoJustice PRLDEF Lower East Side PeopleвЂ™s FCU Mobilization for Justice, Inc. (previously MFY Services that is legal Center for Law and Economic Justice New Economy venture New Yorkers for Responsible Lending ny Legal Assistance Group NY StateWide Senior Action Council, Inc. NYU Law Students for Economic Justice The performing World
Groups delivered a comparable page to NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli regarding nyc State retirement funds.