A city council is blocking access to websites offering payday loans and stopping such lenders from advertising on billboards and bus stops.
Labour-led Plymouth city council is believed to be the first to take such action against companies that it believes are causing thousands of its residents to run up devastating debts.It won't be the last. Oh, dear me, no...
Chris Penberthy, the cabinet member for community development, said: "Plymouth's advice agencies are taking calls daily from people who are running up huge debts that are causing stress and hardship to them and their families. We need to protect people and make it difficult for payday loan companies to operate in our city."Because, god forbid there ever be consequences to your choices - took out a loan, didn't pay it back and now you're in debt? Why, how can that be your fault?
Penberthy said he hoped other local authorities would follow Plymouth's lead.And you know what? I just bet they do.
Plymouth has pre-empted any action that the Financial Conduct Authority may take when it assumes regulation of payday lenders in April 2014.So laying down the gauntlet for the FCA to go even further?
Representatives of payday lenders accused Plymouth of denying consumers choice. Russell Hamblin-Boone, chief executive of the Consumer Finance Association, said: "The council is effectively denying choice to local residents without fully understanding either the short-term lending industry or the way people are managing their finances in 2013.
"Research shows that 85% of payday customers have no trouble paying back their loans, so the council's belief that the loans are detrimental to those that take them is misplaced and not based on evidence."Pft! Don't confuse them with facts. They have their own feelings to consider. Facts just get in the way..