Keep out payday lenders! Council bans payday loan ads from billboards and bus shelters
The battle to stop unscrupulous payday lenders targeting vulnerable people moved up another gear today after Plymouth Council became the first local authority in Britain to ban the websites from advertising on billboards and bus shelters in the city.
Access to the 50 most popular payday loan websites will also be blocked across the Council’s entire computer network including libraries and community centres, a move that a growing number of councils has introduced.
Last month Cheshire East became the first English council to ban payday loan websites from all its public computers in libraries and other public buildings, following a similar move by councils in Dundee and Renfrewshire.
But Plymouth’s move raises the game. It could prove to be a major step in keeping expensive lenders off our high streets.
The Council said it is taking the action to protect residents from sky high interest rates that can lead to spiralling debt.
Chris Penberthy, cabinet member for Co-operatives and Community Development, made the announcement to the council this morning. He said: “Plymouth’s advice agencies are taking calls daily from people who are running up huge debts that are causing stress and hardship to them and their families. We need to protect people and make it difficult for payday loan companies to operate in our city but we do recognise times are hard.
“We are working with our partners to make credit union services more easily available in the city centre, this is an affordable lending option for people that won’t trap them with massive interest rates.”
On Saturday in my comment column – “We must crack down on rogue finance ads” – I called for a ban on misleading or irresponsible advertising from finance firms. I believe that payday lending, in particular, should be a financial product that is bought by people who understand the costs and dangers, not sold to desperate people who ignore the smallprint and who can easily fall into a desperate financial situation.
Until we get central support for controlling such advertising, I hope more councils act to cut down the growing problems caused by high-cost credit companies.Tagged in: advertising, Council, credit, debt, payday lenders, Plymouth
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