• Bloomberg


The government has no immediate plans to relax consumer-finance regulations, Financial Services Minister Taro Aso said, days after a lawmaker said the ruling party will consider it.

A 2006 legislative change designed to protect consumers “was pretty effective to deal with heavily indebted people,” Aso said in response to a question from the Upper House audit committee in Tokyo on Monday. “At this point in time, the government has no intention to change the regulations.”

The Liberal Democratic Party will form a panel next month to examine whether to loosen restrictions on consumer lenders to give borrowers more options to obtain credit, LDP member Masaaki Taira said in an interview last Thursday. Japan should consider scrapping part of the law that limits credit to a third of a borrower’s income, and raising a cap on interest rates to 29.2 percent from 20 percent to encourage lending, he said.

Shares of companies including Aiful Corp. and Acom Co. rose last week on speculation that the move would spur profit that has been dented by the legislation, which became fully effective in 2010 as part of a crackdown on coercive lending.

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