Know your obligations
The information on this page is to help you understand the high-cost credit products law and ensure you maintain your good standing as a business. This is a general overview of our expectations and the laws we oversee. It is your responsibility as a BC-licensed high-cost credit grantor to review the laws in detail. You may also have other legal obligations beyond those mentioned below. It is your responsibility to be aware of all your legal obligations.
Read the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act
Read the High-Cost Credit Products Regulation
Understand all our policies, including administrative penalties
Understand our inspection and complaint handling processes and our enforcement tools
Submit the required documents
As part of the licensing process, you must submit a number of documents. Those are detailed in the main Get & Keep Your Licence page for your industry.
As part of this process, you must submit a copy of your standard high-cost credit agreement for each type of high-cost credit product that you offer which shows all charges for every transaction along with the terms & conditions.
Read the information in the “Comply with business practices” section of this page for additional information about your high-cost credit agreements.
For a full list of the required contents and disclosures, read the amendments to the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, section 112.16-30 and the High-Cost Credit Product Regulation, section 22.
Report changes within 14 days
You must report any changes to your business within 14 days including a business name change, location change, changing partner or corporate officer, change in business model, if you are selling your business. You must also report changes to documents you use to provide high-cost credit products within 14 days.
Submit a notice of change form – business information
Submit a notice of change form – purchase of business
Submit a notice of change form – corporate officers
Read High-Cost Credit Product Regulation, section 16
Comply with business practices
Here are some of the rules that you will need to follow:
- you must not charge any fee that’s not disclosed or exceeds what is in the high-cost credit agreement.
- you must not charge a fee for cancelling the high-cost credit agreement based on a borrower’s cancellation rights.
- you must not charge a fee for making an early payment.
- you must not charge any fee to refinance, restructure or change the terms of a high-cost credit agreement.
- you must review all the required items with the borrower and have them initial before the high-cost credit agreement is signed by either party.
- you must not withhold any of the cost of credit from the principal advanced or made available to the borrower.
- you must include all the terms, statements and information that need to be disclosed in all high-cost credit agreements.
- your high-cost credit agreement must be written in a clear and comprehensible manner.
- you must abide by borrowers’ cancellation rights and you must include the Cancellation Notice (approved by our office) with all your high-cost credit agreements.
- you must not entice a borrower into a high-cost credit agreement or falsely advertise a high-cost credit product as a way to improve their credit rating.
- you must not put terms into the high-cost credit agreement that would allow a borrower to direct their wages directly to you to repay their high-cost credit agreement.
- you must not collect or attempt to collect a scheduled payment before it’s due under the high-cost credit agreement.
- you must give receipts of payments to the borrower.
- you must not get direct access to a borrower’s bank account or use account information that authorizes you to debit the borrower’s account for purposes other than repayment of the loan.
These are a few of the rules and prohibitions. We advise that you understand all the business practices that you must follow.
Report aggregate loan data
When you renew your high-cost credit grantor licence by October 31, 2023, you will be required to self-report your annual aggregate loan data. That reporting period will be from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023. Please ensure that you are keeping the proper records to track and put together the required data.
Understand consumer rights
The borrower has the right to change their mind and cancel the high-cost credit agreement before the end of the next business day – without paying any charges. They can repay amounts advanced under high-cost lending agreements any time before the due date and cannot be charged extra for doing this.
There’s more to know. Please read and understand all of the rights that consumers have when it comes to high-cost credit products.
Read the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, Section 112, 20
Display your licence and licence number
You must publicly display your licence in your place of business. You must also include your licence number on any print or online materials, including:
- business cards
- print collaterals (such as brochures and flyers)
- documentations (including contracts)
- your website
If you are an online high-cost credit grantor, your licence number must be at the top of the first page of your website(s).
Understand our inspection process
We perform routine, random, follow-up, and complaint-based inspections of our regulated businesses to test for compliance with the law.
Do not engage in deceptive or unconscionable acts
By law, you must not engage in deceptive or unconscionable acts.
Read the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, sections 4 and 5
Remote working guidelines
BC consumer protection laws require that businesses have a licence for each location from where it conducts business. Conducting business from a location means several things, including:
- a location from which your physical presence, address, or telephone number in British Columbia is given in a telephone directory.
- a location from which your physical presence, address, or telephone number in British Columbia is given in any verbal or written advertisement,
- you have, in British Columbia, a resident agent, or a warehouse, office, or place of business.
Here are the guidelines:
- you can only work remotely from a home-based location.
- if the law or health directives allow, you are only to directly meet and serve clients from licensed locations and not at remote or unlicensed home-based locations.
- while conducting business, you must only use the contact information of the licensed location in any visual representation, correspondence, business cards, or on any printed or electronic advertisement.
- other than cell phone numbers or corporate IP-based phone numbers, you may not disclose your personal telephone number(s) to suppliers or clients nor reveal that you are conducting business from any unlicensed location.
- payments for services may be received only at the licensed office unless those payments are through electronic means via credit card or immediate EFT, and no payment information is retained or stored in the home-based location.
- all client files, arrangement details, and associated original records of accounting or contracts handled by a telecommuter must be kept at the businesses’ licensed location. (It is permissible for telecommuters to retain copies of routine correspondence and other records at their home-based location).