Crack down launched on pay day lending schemes

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Pay day lenders who snare people in debt by charging exorbitant rates of interest have come under fire from East Dunbartonshire Council.

The authority has agreed to a number of measures to help to assist people trapped by money lenders.

At a recent meeting, councillors agreed to ensure that the council works to ensure that it minimises the effect of pay day lending through the promotion of financial literacy and affordable lending.

They also called on the UK and Scottish governments to give local authorities the power to veto licences for high street credit agencies where they could have a negative economic and social impact on communities.

Further, access to internet sites that offer pay day loans will be blocked throughout the Council’s IT network and a decision was taken to support local credit unions in promoting their services to as many residents as possible.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “The lack of access to affordable credit has had a negative impact on our people and communities, more often than not affecting those most in need.

“Coupled with the effects of the ongoing reforms to the welfare system, there is potential for an increasing number of people to be trapped by a cycle of debt.

“We, as a Council, recognise the often devastating consequences pay day loans can have in our community and we will do all that we can to promote responsible lending and assist those who are struggling with mounting debt that accrues with a pay day loan.”