COURTS Fiji Limited broke its silence yesterday over claims of fraud, unethical practice and a whole host of concerns in the hire-purchase industry in Fiji.
Responding to the Consumer Council of Fiji's report on the hire-purchase industry — launched in Suva last week by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Courts Fiji Ltd said they had followed the rules to the tee.
Courts' director marketing Anil Senewiratne said the council findings contained in the hire-purchase report, were biased and served as a misrepresentation of the facts.
"Our hire-purchase documentation and terminology are based on the templates sent by the Ministry of Trade and Commerce some time back and also vetted by our solicitors to ensure they are fully compliant with the Consumer Credit Act. Therefore we find it hard to reconcile some of the criticisms in the report in this area," he said.
Responding to questions from The Fiji Times, Mr Senewiratne said the company maintained full disclosure of hire-purchase transactions.
To this end, the company ensured customers were fully aware of obligations including the full disclosure of the:
* cash purchase price value;
* full dollar value interest payable on the contract;
* full contract value and the monthly instalment amount; and
* interest rate applicable and term etc as required by Credit Consumer Act.
"Taking into account the risk profile of our average customer and the high risk nature of hire-purchase lending (basically unsecured), our effective interest rates compares very favourably with the interest rates charged by banks on credit card outstandings," Mr Senewiratne said.