Democratic lawmakers say payday loan history matters

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Representative Matt Lesser and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie)

HARTFORD, CT – (Update at 4 p.m.) Democratic lawmakers on the Banking Committee believe that Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski’s tenure as CEO of a payday loan company should have some effect importance to voters, even though his former company is banned from selling its product in Connecticut.

Under the North Portico of the State Capitol, Representatives Matt Lesser and Bobby Gibson joined Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff and lawyer Sarah Poriss on Monday on why voters should care about Stefanowski’s three years. past with DFC Global, a payday loan company that made high interest loans to consumers in the UK and the US. None of the loans were made in Connecticut, which prohibits the sale of payday loans.

Stefanowski’s campaign said he would do nothing to relax Connecticut’s ban on products.

“His time at DFC Global shows his willingness to dive headfirst into difficult situations in an attempt to reform and turn around struggling organizations,” said Kendall Marr, spokesperson for Stefanowski’s campaign. “That’s why he’s the best person to lead our state and get Connecticut back on track.”

Stefanowski has said himself that he intends to change the industry with a predatory reputation.

In november 2016Stefanowski told a DC audience that everyone thought it was crazy to take the job at DFC Global, but “There are a bunch of reasons why I did it. The one I want to talk about today is that I really believe there is a segment of the population that needs our product.

He said there are people who cannot get bank accounts who need their product and the public sector has not found a solution to the problem.

“The problem with the industry is that they got a little greedy and took advantage of people when they didn’t necessarily have to,” Stefanowski said.

“I think we can start a business where we are already building a business that treats people fairly, gives them a product they desperately need, and provides a solution to this growing segment of the population.”

He said they created a time limited product with a 60% interest rate.

But it was equally reprehensible for Democratic lawmakers and a consumer lawyer.

“This industry keeps trying to find ways to get around our laws,” Lesser said.

He said it is an “indefensible commodity” that traps consumers in debt and poverty.

Duff said that might not be the problem that gets someone to the polls on Election Day, but if it does impact themselves or their neighbors and families, they will understand why we stand out here. today.

He said voters wanted politicians who would oppose “these kinds of schemes.”

“The question is, would you take one out?” Said Poriss. “So why would you want them to be accessible to any of your neighbors, friends, family members… why would you want them to be in your community? “

She said there is nothing in a payday loan that is designed to help a consumer.

“They are designed to fail,” Poriss said. “They are designed to trap consumers over and over again in a life of debt. ”

When asked if these products help a certain segment of the population, the group’s resounding response was ‘no’.

Lesser said it goes to the difference of opinion on how you improve the middle class.

“Are we building the middle class by giving people a good education, by increasing wages, by strengthening living conditions? Or do we do it by kidnapping more and more people. The idea that you can borrow to get out of poverty is fundamentally wrong.

Lesser said he was concerned that if Stefanowski were to become governor, he would appoint a banking commissioner who was “sympathetic to Bob’s personal views, which support the idea that you can borrow to get out of poverty.”

Marr replied that “Bob would appoint a banking commissioner whose main objective is to protect consumers who are familiar with the banking industry”.

Prior to working as CEO of DFC Global, Stefanowski worked as CFO of UBS in London for three years, and prior to that he was Chairman and Managing Partner of 3i Group PLC for three years, and prior to that , he spent 13 years in various departments of General Électrique.

After leaving DFC Global, Stefanowski completed the necessary paperwork to run for governor.

Since his announcement last September, he has spent $ 3 million of his own money on the campaign. Most of it was used by the Madison resident to win a Republican primary at five in August.

“As much as Democrats want to talk about anything but the Connecticut tax crisis, you must be wondering who is going to lower taxes: a liberal Democrat from Greenwich or Bob Stefanowski? Republican Party Chairman JR Romano said Monday.

Democratic candidates talk about predatory loans.

posted by CTNewsJunkie.com Monday, October 15, 2018

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