Banking industry seeks higher fees on state loans

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina's banking industry wants the power to charge higher lending fees because it says locally-based banks are at a disadvantage compared to banks chartered in other states in issuing consumer loans.

But consumer advocates are worried changes advanced through a General Assembly committee this week could invite out-of-state predatory lending they've beaten back over the years.

The legislation involves loan origination and late payment fees the industry says have not been changed since the early 1990s.

Origination fees for loans could reach $150 for small loans of less than $20,000. Currently the maximum origination fee is $50. Sen. Joyce Krawiec (KRAH-vik) of Forsyth County says it's not enough to recover the costs of making such a loan. Banks regulated elsewhere can already charge higher fees on North Carolina loans.

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