Haringey Council unveils credit scheme against predatory payday lenders

 

Personal finance editor

A North London council is putting its cash behind battling the growing scourge of predatory payday lenders in its borough.

Haringey Council has loaned its local credit union £250,000 to help hard-up families avoid the excessive interest rates of payday lenders.

The credit union has issued more than 1,100 new loans worth nearly £1m to Haringey residents since October 2012. And earlier this month, Haringey Council announced plans to give every secondary school starter a £20 savings account with the credit union to encourage children to start saving.

Councillor Joe Goldberg said: “We’re determined to do all we can support Haringey families facing the perfect storm of the soaring cost of living and a proliferation of legal loan sharks on our high streets.”

Meanwhile the Office of Fair Trading has suspended a payday lender’s credit licence for the first time. The watchdog took action today against online lender Micro Lend after concluding that “suspending the licence is urgently necessary to protect consumers”, although it refused to reveal the specific reasons for the suspension.

The lender, based in Colindale, North West London, has until 24 March to appeal.

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