Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds City Council to examine payday lender advert ban

A ban on payday lenders advertising in public spaces in Leeds is to be examined by the city council.

A motion proposed by the council's Labour leader asking officers to look at how a ban could work was passed unanimously at a full council meeting.

Councillor Keith Wakefield said the authority had a duty to protect people.

The Consumer Finance Association (CFA), which represents many short-term lenders, said it could prevent people accessing responsible lenders.

The action, which could see a ban on advertising on bus stops and billboards, comes after six councils in Yorkshire, including Leeds, said they would block access to payday lender websites from their computer networks.

Mr Wakefield said: "We want to stop the promotion and access to them and offer people a credible alternative such as the credit union.

"They are exploiting people's vulnerability."

He said the council was also urging the government to introduce a cap on the interest rates charged by short-term lenders.

Richard Griffiths from the CFA said: "They are taking choice from people who want credit by restricting access to websites and banning adverts.

"The vast majority of customers don't get into trouble with their loans. Responsible payday lenders are not going to lend if they think it will make your financial situation worse."

Mr Griffiths said the industry would ask the council to look more closely at the issue before moving forward with the proposal.

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