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Payday Loans Protests In York


6:01am 7th September 2013

Payday loans companies are to be targeted by protesters in York today.

The York's new People's Assembly say that hundreds of people in the city have been contacting Citizens Advice for help.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said: “The level of debt and hardship caused by some payday loans is absolutely scandalous and people often feel completely powerless to do anything about it. But consumers can fight back. If you are struggling to pay back the loan Citizens Advice can help you sort out a reasonable repayment plan and if you make a successful complaint to the Financial Ombudsman service you could find you get a refund for an unauthorised payment or compensation for unfair treatment.

“By making your voice heard you will expose the bad behaviour of lenders and put pressure on them to clean up their act which could help stop similar problems happening to other people.”

George Vickers, York Citizen's Advice Bureau manager, told the assembly “We're seeing a growing number of people in trouble. These companies claim that they only lend to people they have checked can pay back the loan, but we are increasingly finding that the debts are being rolled over.  A loan of £100 can end up costing people, who are struggling to feed their families, two or three times that amount in a matter of weeks.”

“The companies claimed to have self regulation, but it is not working – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has to take charge.  We want to see a limit on the number of times a loan can be rolled over, checks on whether people can afford the loans and a legal duty to let people know what other help is out there.”

Tang Hall vicar Father Tim Jones will be joining the protest, he said:

“The reality is that desperate people use payday lenders. In my work, I find myself having to help and comfort those whose lives are being wrecked. I see companies pestering former clients by text to take out new loans, promising loans to go in 15 minutes. A friend told me, if you're struggling, it can be just too hard to resist”.

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