Ahead of a Scottish Government summit on tackling payday lending to be held in Glasgow today, CAS continued its campaign to seek action on problem lending by urging banks to become part of the solution.
At present, the lack of affordable alternative to high-interest, high-charges credit available to thousands of people in Scotland is a major driver in the growth of the payday loans industry, and the resulting problem debts Citizens Advice Bureaux across the country are seeing.
Susan McPhee, Head of Policy and Communications for Citizens Advice Scotland, who will be addressing today’s summit said:
“Payday loans are causing real misery for thousands of people in Scotland, and we have evidence of too many lenders using unscrupulous practices. Today’s summit will look at ways that action can be taken at a Scottish Government and local government level to end the proliferation of this problem lending and CAS are pleased to be part of that process.
Bureaux across Scotland continue to see an average of 100 clients a week who have problems with payday loans. Sadly, all too often, our clients feel they have no alternative when they need to borrow.
“We are calling on banks to provide clearer, cheaper, and fairer overdrafts for their clients so they have an alternative to turning to payday lenders when they need access to short term credit. We are also calling on banks to become more flexible by making relatively small, short-term and affordable loans available to all of their clients.
“In spite of many banks claiming they want to ‘serve Scotland’ and ‘be at the heart of their communities’, most of them are not living up to these promises. While we admire the stated aims, banks need to put actions behind their words.
“If banks take their corporate responsibilities seriously, they will listen to these calls. Too many people who end up coming to their CAB have been let down by the mainstream banking sector, and we want to see an end to that.”
Notes to editors - click to expand/collapse
1) CAS report on Payday Lenders (‘Mayday Payday’, November 2013): /publications/mayday-payday
2) CAS response to the FCA’s overdrafts investigation: /news/overdrafts-are-%e2%80%98unfair-unclear-and-over-complicated%e2%80%99
3) RBS: Serving Scotland: Customer Charter - https://www.rbs.co.uk/global/customer-charter.ashx
4) Clydesdale Bank: Advertisement ‘heart of communities’ - https://secure.cbonline.co.uk/we-care-about-here/real-world-banking/
5) The Scottish Government’s Directorate for Local Government and Communities is holding the ‘Tackling Payday Lenders and Gambling in Scottish Town Centres and Neighbourhoods Scottish Government Ministerial Summit’ tomorrow, 23rd April 2014 at the Trades Halls, Glasgow.