Profiting from the poor

With interest rates running above 200% a year, lending to the poor can be very profitable. But regulators and banks are becoming uneasy.

More than 2 million Australians live below the poverty line. What’s more, in 2010 the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that 18% of households experienced financial difficulty in the prior year, and one in three people couldn’t survive on their savings for more than a month if they lost their job. Desperation, however, makes the poor a lucrative demographic.


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