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CAP backs payday campaign

15 February 2013

by a staff reporter

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 sharks.

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).

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