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Citizens Advice calls for firm action against irresponsible payday lenders

31 May 2013

Citizens Advice is calling on the Office of Fair Trading to ban payday lenders who are harming consumers with irresponsible lending. Today, the Public Accounts Committee releases their report ‘Regulating Consumer Credit’, which also calls for strong action against irresponsible lenders.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of national charity Citizens Advice, said: “I’m pleased to see the Public Accounts Committee echoing our call for swift, firm action against out of control payday lending firms.

“Our evidence reveals an industry that is acting as a law unto itself. Payday lenders are breaking 12 of the 14 promises they made in their own customer charter and driving vulnerable people into debt with irresponsible lending. We’ve seen people who have been given payday loans even though they have no income, are under 18 or have mental health problems.

“Citizens Advice is calling on the OFT to thoroughly investigate and revoke the licences of payday lenders which are found to be acting unscrupulously.

"Banks also need to take responsibility for their role in the growth of the  payday lending market. Personal micro-loans could be a responsible alternative to payday loans.”

Citizens Advice

Notes to editors:

  1. This year the Citizens Advice service celebrates its 75th anniversary. We’ve planned a year of activity running from January to December 2014. Contact the press office on 03000 231 080, or via email at press.office@citizensadvice.org.uk, to find out more.
  2. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  3. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  4. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at www.adviceguide.org.uk
  5. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  6. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.6 million problems from April 2012 to March 2013. For full 2012/2013 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  7. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 22,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.