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Keep out payday lenders! Council bans payday loan ads from billboards and bus shelters

Simon Read

PLYMOUTH HOE ARIEL 05 300x198 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.

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  • CPB2011

    Cap maximum APR at 50 %. I cannot see a legitimate situation, where the risk is so great that a higher APR is needed (apart from loan sharking.)

    If you cannot get finance at less than 50 % APR, then either you shouldn’t have that finance, or you are being scammed.

  • pommiebastard

    Close em down…..nuff said.

  • thesonofmyrahindley

    Anyone daft enough to use one of these legal loan sharks needs their sanity questioning. It’s well reported how bad these lenders are.

    “Poor people have to use them…” someone will bleat

    They didn’t have payday lenders in the 70s and 80s for “essentials” like X Boxes or Tyler’s designer clothes…

  • hilary77

    It is sooo easy for people to get on their “high horse” and comment about these companies. Yes, the interest they charge is exorbitant; But what happens when the bank, will not provide a long standing customer, with some “petrol” money, for a few days, to get to work, even though the banks are guaranteed repayment as the customers wages are paid into that bank? That is happening all over the country, and NOT by choice !!

    In today’s economic climate, people have to travel long distances just to get to work, and possibly the cost of fuel takes quite a big chunk off one’s wage packet. However careful one is, no one can deny that prices of everything is going up, whilst wages are frozen.


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