Northampton, Northumbria and Swansea universities ban payday loan adverts

 

Three universities have banned adverts from high-cost payday lenders after fresh fears were raised that unscrupulous firms are targeting hard-up students.

Northampton, Northumbria and Swansea have committed to never allowing payday lenders to advertise on their campuses and the National Union of Students is today launching a campaign to encourage more universities to join them.

“It’s clear that some payday lenders are targeting vulnerable students and the Government has so far failed to act so it’s important we do everything we can to limit their ability to reach our campuses,” said Pete Mercer, NUS national vice-president (welfare).

“Students are struggling to make ends meet and this is having a real impact on their well-being and their education.”

Payday lenders are currently under investigation by the Office of Fair Trading, which has proposed referring the sector to the Competition Commission, amid accusations of irresponsible lending and encouraging vulnerable people to take on expensive debt they’ll never be able to repay.

With interest rates quoted at more than 4,000 per cent APR, lenders have been accused of rolling over loans pushing people into a deadly spiral of debt.

MPs got into a row with the OFT last month by accusing the regulator of failing to control rogue payday lenders.

The Public Accounts Committee accused the watchdog of being “ineffective” and “timid”, and said it failed to identify risks of malpractice which have cost consumers at least £450m a year.

But the OFT hit back by pointing out that its powers to shut down rogue firms are limited. However its current probe into the sector has seen three of the country’s 50 largest lenders close for business and the OFT has written to the others to demand that they clean up their acts or face closure.

Research by the NUS has found that up to one in 10 students in vulnerable groups had resorted to using high-cost credit.

“Three times as many students with caring responsibilities use payday loans as other students,” said Mr Mercer.

The university bans follow last week’s U-turn by Bolton Wanderers which bowed to fan power by scrapping plans to feature payday lender Quick Quid as its shirt sponsor next season.

The move followed the lead of Sheffield Wednesday which refused to accept sponsorship from a payday lender, despite the firm offering 25 per cent more than usual to persuade the club to sign up.

Last week The Independent reported that unscrupulous lenders have been using religion to tempt borrowers with two firms claiming false links to religious institutions.

Paul Crayston, from the debt charity National Debtline, said using religion to prey on the vulnerable is “completely unacceptable”.

“If anyone is unsure that a lender they are considering borrowing from or have borrowed from is legitimate, they should seek free, impartial advice as soon as possible,” he advised.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
people
News
20. Larry Page: Net worth: $23 billion; Country: U.S; Source of wealth: Google
business
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
A collection of 30 Banksy prints at Bonhams auction house in London
art
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Data Analyst - Essex - £25,000

£23500 - £25000 per annum + Training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Data analyst/Sys...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Account Manager

£16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Account Manager is r...

Guru Careers: Graduate Account Manager / Sales Executive

£18k + Uncapped Commission (£60k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Account Man...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness