Earlier this week I signed the Charter to Stop the Payday Loan Rip-off which calls for tougher regulation of payday lenders and is supported by some of Britain’s biggest debt, consumer and anti-poverty organisations – including Which?, Citizens Advice, StepChange Debt Charity, Church Action on Poverty, and the Centre for Responsible Credit.
MPs from all parties are urging the Financial Conduct Authority to back the Charter and introduce tougher regulation of payday lenders to stop millions of people being ripped-off at a time when we have a cost of living crisis.
You can sign up to the Charter at www.change.org/paydayloancharter
Ed Miliband’s announcement that Labour would impose a levy on payday lender profits to help support lower-cost lending from credit unions and boost money advice services is a practical step to tackling payday lenders and the misery their interest rates cause to desperate people.
Payday lenders are ripping off millions of people, trapping them in spirals of debt. The Financial Conduct Authority’s proposals for regulation are a step in the right direction, but they don’t go far enough. The levy together with the Charter to Stop the Payday Loan Rip-off is a once in a generation opportunity to get the proper regulation and enforcement of payday lenders that we badly need
The full text of the Charter to Stop the Payday Loan Rip-off reads:
We believe irresponsible payday lending and other high cost credit is damaging the health and wealth of our country. Payday lenders are exploiting millions of people across the UK, trapping them in spirals of debt, and the problem is getting worse. Payday lenders are breaking promises they made in their own customer charter. Self-regulation has failed. We call for effective regulation of payday lenders and high cost credit, which is properly enforced, to:
• Stop them giving loans to people who can’t realistically afford to pay them back
• Stop them repeatedly rolling over loans and creating spiralling debt
• Stop hidden or excessive charges
• Stop them raiding borrowers’ bank accounts without their knowledge and leaving them in hardship
• Stop irresponsible advertising and instead provide clear and transparent information
• Require lenders to promote free and independent debt advice, and ensure they co-operate with other services to help people get out of debt.
We also want action to support the growth of credit unions and other forms of more responsible lending; we want banks to increase the availability of credit to people on low and middle incomes: and we want new research on capping the total cost of credit undertaken now.