McCallum said she believes Superloans opened its doors on purpose to access these vulnerable populations as customers.
A local resident unhappy with the company’s move was photographed by a Superloans staff member writing on the store window “loan sharks are not welcome in this neighborhood.”
The company then set up a large poster of the woman in the photoshopped storefront with a hat saying “I love super loans” and a gold necklace with a dollar sign.
Underneath it was written: “Our number 1 fan! We love you grandma too!”
McCallum said the poster was intimidating and derogatory.
“It’s intimidating that person and the people who are complaining… I don’t know how they ethically think it’s good.”
McCallum said she and other organizations based in the building were going to bring their concerns to Superloans, but ultimately wanted them to leave the neighborhood.
The chief executive of the refugee and migrant education and support organization KiwiClass, Elizabeth Young, said some migrants find it difficult to interact with banks and struggle to obtain low-rate bank loans. interest with no credit history.
She said some lacked the language skills to understand the implications of signing with Superloans.
Young said his clients were often already struggling with serious debt.
“A big part of the reason they’re already in debt is because they send money home.
“They send money … abroad where they still support children and family members or they try to pay for family members to be brought to New Zealand on refugee reunification type visas. . “
Young said KiwiClass installed signs in their building in multiple languages, suggesting clients speak to them before taking out loans with the company so they can explain how they work.
At a nearby cafe, local entrepreneur John McDonald said the super loans should go.
“We don’t like these loan sharks because they prey on the innocent and the vulnerable and we are all children of God, so they have to take a hike.
“Where I’m from and in Scotland we were going – that’s what we would do.”
Wellington City Councilor and Lambton Ward representative Tamatha Paul said she understands the community’s concerns, but there is nothing there is to be done by council.
“But we can support our communities that are not happy that they are here, and get agitated and say to the central government, ‘Look, you really have to see where these types of opportunistic businesses are going in the vulnerable communities. “
Superloans owner Paul Ryan said in a statement that he chose the location of the store because of the price, parking and the high number of pedestrians and traffic and that he was unsure which organizations were based. next to.
When asked if the poster was appropriate, he replied that it “kept her from doing it again”.
Ryan says that while the reception from the community has been good, the reaction from the building next door has been appalling and that if they were interested in talking to him, call him a predator and put up signs warning them. people in his company was the wrong way to go about it.
Ryan provided RNZ with a signage image on the company window that had been half-torn off.
He said it cost $ 800 to install and has not been replaced.
Paul Ryan is listed as a director of Superloans Porirua, which received a warning from the Trade Commission late last year for likely non-compliance with lender liability principles.
ChangeMakers Acting Managing Director Sandra McCallum said one option for those in need of low-interest loans is to go to ethical lenders such as Ngā Tāngata, Newtown Ethical Lending Trust and Good. Shepherd.