A Cornish MP has called on the Government regulator to clamp down on “predatory” payday loan companies who have been “ripping off” millions as Christmas approaches.
The MP for St Ives and west Penwith fears an expensive Christmas will leave many families in a desperate financial state and much more vulnerable to the notorious payday lenders.
Andrew George's call comes as consumer champion Which? Said more than a third of households in Mr George’s St Ives constituency are worried about their level of debt.
Mr George is a leading supporter of the ‘Charter to Stop the Pay Day Loan Rip Off’ which calls for tougher regulation of payday lenders and is supported by a cross party group of MPs.
The Charter is supported by some of Britain’s biggest debt, consumer and anti poverty organisations including Which? Citizen’s Advice, StepChange Debt Charity, Church Action on Poverty and the Centre for Responsible Credit.
Which? has gathered statistics on household debt and vulnerability to unscrupulous credit lenders.
A cross party group of MPs is calling on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to introduce tougher regulation of payday lenders.
The group says payday lenders have used “shady practices which hide excessive charges, entitle them to raid borrowers’ bank accounts without their knowledge, leaving them in hardship and use irresponsible advertising which misleads those who are drawn into a cycle of debt they find it difficult to get out of.”
Mr George said: “It is timely to press the Chief Regulator at the FCA as we approach the most expensive and challenging time of the year for vulnerable families. Many will be under intense pressure in the lead up to and just after Christmas and could easily full prey to the kind of payday lenders that are massively increasing their advertising at this time of year.
“Although the FCA’s current proposals for regulation are a step in the right direction, they don’t go far enough. This is a once in a generation opportunity to get proper regulation and enforcement of payday lenders that is now desperately needed. We must stop payday lenders from continuing to exploit vulnerable people.”
People can add their voice to the calls for tougher regulation on payday lenders by signing the Charter at change.org/paydayloancharter