On October 5, 2023, the federal government launched the Consultation on Cracking Down on Predatory Lending Faster by Further Lowering the Criminal Rate of Interest and Increasing Access to Low-Cost Credit (the “Consultation”), further to recent changes announced in Budget 2023 and implemented in the 2023 budget bill, Bill C-47, to lower the criminal rate of interest under the Criminal Code to “an annual percentage rate of interest calculated in accordance with generally accepted actuarial practices and principles that exceeds 35 per cent on the credit advanced”. These changes are not yet in force.

The Consultation seeks feedback on a number of questions relating to the criminal rate of interest provisions, including:

  • “what actions could be taken to improve, promote, and support access to low-cost, small-value credit”;
  • “whether the criminal rate of interest should be further reduced”; and
  • whether there is a need for “additional revisions to the Criminal Code’s provincial or territorial-requested payday lending exemption” (the Criminal Code currently contains an exemption from the criminal rate of interest limits for payday loans).

Comments on the Consultation are due November 30, 2023.