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Moneylender fined for loan offer

A moneylending business has been fined 8,000 euros by regulators for offering unsolicited loans.

Oxendales, which runs a clothing catalogue as well as selling cash, sent emails to 650 customers in June offering to increase their credit limits, and nine people took up the offer.

Under Ireland's Central Bank rules, licensed moneylenders must not offer unsolicited pre-approved credit facilities to consumers.

Regulators said that once this issue was brought to the attention of the company, it immediately stopped contacting customers with the offer.

The Central Bank said the fact that penalties have been imposed reflects the importance of compliance with the Moneylenders' Code.

The rulebook was drawn up to prevent customers being encouraged to increase their credit limit when it might not be in their best interests.

It is the first time a moneylending firm has been penalised under the rules.

The Central Bank said the matter is now closed.

Director of enforcement Derville Rowland: " The Central Bank views compliance with these requirements as being fundamental to the protection of the consumers of moneylending services and where those consumers who are often in financially precarious positions are not afforded the full protections provided to them under these requirements, we will act."

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