Payday lenders: are they targeting gamblers?
The number of payday loan firms operating on high streets leapt by 20 per cent last year, while the presence of betting shops and pawnbrokers also increased.
But, and it’s a point that the Labour leader didn’t make, there’s growing concern over the number of payday lenders that are opening up next to bookies.
As I reported last year there’s a branch of payday lender The Money Shop in Earl’s Court in west London handily placed next to a bookies (see my picture top right).
I don’t want to get too paternalistic about this, but surely letting a payday lender target gamblers is not a good idea? Who is more likely to be tempted by an offer of instant money than a gambler who has just lost a packet?
The other way round is equally concerning. What if someone has been forced to resort to turning to a high-cost payday lender to raise cash to pay for essentials, such as food or heating? And then, with cash in their hand as they walk out the door, being presented with the ‘chance’ to turn it even into more money could be very tempting.
I was concerned enough about the issue to write about it. And then I noticed more ‘coincidences’ of payday lenders next to bookies. The Kingston branch of The Money Shop is also placed handily next to Eden Bookmakers (see my picture below left). In Morden in South London I spotted another one (see picture below right) a branch of the Cash Exchange next to Stan James Bookmakers.
There may be many more around the country. If you are aware of any near you, please do get in touch. But surely they can’t all be coincidentally placed?
I know that the proliferation of payday lenders on our high streets is partly due to so many banks and building societies abandoning their branches. That’s because payday lenders can simply move in because the buildings have already been given planning permission for use as a money lenders.
As Ed Miliband points out: “Currently if a bank branch closes down, there’s nothing a council can do if a payday loan shop wants to move in and open up in the same place. Even if there’s another lender next door.”
Or even if there’s a bookies next door, which I find a whole lot more sinister.Tagged in: bookmakers, high-cost credit, labour, miliband, payday lenders, vulnerable
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