Addressing Growing Debt Problems Needs More Than Payday Loan Regulation

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ROBIN Newton East Belfast DUP MLA in welcoming steps by Financial Conduct Authority to limit % interest charges on the payday loan industry said more needs to be done to encourage the mutual society/ credit union movement to grow. There needs to be alternatives to payday lenders who target low-income families and individuals.

Robin Newton said,

“Practically every week I have a constituent with a major debt problem. Debt is a rising problem and leads too many other social problems as the individual comes under pressure to meet repayments.

While I agree with tackling the excesses of the payday loan companies there is a danger those who need money quickly will be driven into the clutches of deceitful and immoral loan sharks. It is society’s most vulnerable who are least able to cope with financial matters and who are in danger of being exploited.

For those seeking a quick loan only by providing a substitute via the credit union type organisations will the loan sharks and payday loan con-artists get off the back of the community. Government and society needs to support and encourage the credit unions and help them grow their community presence. Giving help to community based financial help groups is the only way to drive the exploiters away.”