A CAMPAIGN to warn people of the dangers of loan sharks was
launched on "Payday Loan Danger Day" - held on a date calculated as
the day on which people were most likely to fall victim to loan
It is caused by the long gap between pre-Christmas pay, and
January payday. This year, it fell on 24 January. The campaign, led
by a social-housing provider, Coast and Country, is backed by
Church Action on Poverty.
The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) last month banned a
television advertisement by the loan company Pounds to Pocket,
ruling that it was both "misleading" and "socially irresponsible"
for not making its APR of 278 per cent clearer to viewers. The
Association of Christian Financial Advisers (ACFA) welcomed the
decision. Its spokesman, Arwyn Bailey, said: "To offer a short-term
loan at an exorbitant rate of interest to fund other debts, or just
to put bread on the table, is immoral."
Mr Bailey said that the ACFA looked forward to the tougher
legislation due to come into force in 2014. It will give the new
Financial Conduct Authority power to impose restrictions on the
cost and duration of a loan.
The Government was described by opposition MPs as experiencing a
"Damascene conversion" over payday loans, attributed to
interventions from the Archbishop of Canterbury, when he spoke in
the Lords as the Bishop of Durham (
News, 14 December).