Kevin McAteer, SDLP Cllr for Newry, Mounre & Down District Council, has welcomed the introduction of a cap on charges associated with payday loans which came into effect in the New Year.
He said: “Pay Day Loan companies continue to take advantage of the poor and the most vulnerable. They exploit the difficulties facing the unemployed and the underpaid by offering them short term financial relief while handcuffing them to huge interest rates. The SDLP has long argued for greater regulation of these companies and I’m now glad that their rates will be capped at 0.8% per day of the amount borrowed.
“Furthermore, I’m pleased that under new regulations, no-one will be forced to pay back more than twice the amount they borrowed.
“The SDLP has been unrelenting in our pursuit of these legal loan sharks. From the Assembly to Westminster we have supported every attempt to cap and control predatory lending practices. In particular, my party colleague Mark Durkan MP has been a fierce advocate of greater protection for ordinary people against pay day lenders and has proposed robust amendments to Westminster legislation to that end.
“There are other forms of credit available to people who find themselves in financial difficulties. I would encourage anyone who is struggling to speak to their local credit union to explore the options open to them with modest interest rates before turning toward pay day loan companies. “More action is needed if we are to clamp down on excessive charges and irresponsible lending, and make sure that borrowers are being treated fairly whatever form of credit they are using. The SDLP will continue to press for higher standards and greater protections for the least well off.”]]>