Cash Store weathers trials, continues to serve public

An opaque plastic piggy bank filled with a $100 bill. Canada's Cash Store payday lender has seen similar positive returns on its investment in payday cash loans.

Customers have responded to the payday cash loans Cash Store Financial has to offer. Its rising stock price reflects consumer approval. (Photo: ThinkStock)

Payday loan companies like Cash Store have faced a great deal of legal opposition in their quest to provide payday cash loans for consumers. Much of the flak has come from consumer interest groups with lobbyist connections to elected officials. They claim to represent the best interests of consumers in their opposition to such outlets as CEO Gordon Reykdal’s Cash Store. However, if payday cash loans were so damaging to a consumer’s finances, it would seem logical that they’d avoid the product. Yet as a recent The Globe and Mail article suggests, Reykdal and Cash Store Financial are a popular choice in Canada and abroad.

Cash Store holds 34 percent market share on payday cash loans in Canada

For most CEOs, the connection with day-to-day business decisions at such places as Cash Store would be minimal. However, Cash Store Financial CEO Gordon Reykdal is far from uninvolved. He doesn’t sit and wait for money to roll in and allow underlings to make all the tough decisions. On the contrary, Reykdal is heavily invested in Cash Store; he owns a quarter of the stock, according to The Globe and Mail. Not only has Reykdal ensured that Cash Store Financial would play an active role in the community (see video below), he played an active role in urging the Canadian government to clarify the laws regarding payday cash loans and how payday loan companies can offer them. His efforts helped payday lenders and the government find a workable middle ground where consumers and lenders can still benefit from reasonably profitable lending transactions without the threat of exploitation. The rules will apply in every Canadian province except Quebec, where payday cash loans are prohibited.

Growth into other services for the underbanked

Cash Store understands that a significant percentage of Canada’s population is effectively “underbanked.” Much like in the United States, many people do not have the credit standing to take advantage of small bank loans or are outside the traditional banking system for a variety of reasons. That’s why Gordon Reykdal would like to see Cash Store Financial branch out into the field of banking services for its large customer base. Simple services, such as as taking deposits, go a long way toward improving a consumer’s financial portfolio in situations where they either do not trust traditional banks or encounter barriers that prevent them from using traditional banks. In the fragmented payday cash loans environment that defines much of Canada, Cash Store has a responsibility to its customer base to serve their financial needs when traditional banks refuse to do so.

Cash Store is a good investment, says The Globe and Mail

Payday cash loans and related laws have become clearer with time. Canada and the UK have come to workable solutions that have appeased both the industry and lawmakers. The United States, with its bureaucratic legislative morass, has yet to find such a middle ground. One result of this could be that consumers already harmed by the recession continue to find it difficult to obtain credit when they experience financial need.


The Globe and Mail

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