Money Lenders Act 1938
August 16, 2022
The Money Lenders Act makes provisions for the control and regulation of money-lending in Fiji. The Act remains as the sole legislation controlling the money-lending industry and there are three key features of the legislation. First, it declares money-lending as a legitimate business. It states: ‘any person who lends a sum of money in consideration of a larger sum being repaid is presumed to be a money-lender’. Second, it provides for the registration of moneylenders. Any person involved in the business of moneylending is required to be registered annually by the Registrar of Moneylenders. The Registrar of Money Lenders is the person who is normally deemed to hold the position of the Administrator-General in the country. Moneylending licenses are normally given only to residents of Fiji. Third, it requires the publication of a list of moneylenders. Each January, the Registrar is required to publish a full list of all licensed moneylenders in the Gazette; any person not on the list is deemed to be not a moneylender (or not to be legally recognized as a registered money lender as required by the Moneylenders Act). Money lending as a Business The Moneylenders Act (MLA) recognizes money lending as a lelegitimate business in the country. This business involves lending a sum of money in consideration of a larger sum being repaid. This business, however, is separate from the business of banking. The separation between money lending as a business and banking is affected through numerous provisions.