Citizens Advice attacks payday loans tactics

SHORT-TERM payday lenders are “out of control” and showing a “disregard for customers”, according to a report released yesterday by the consumer charity Citizens Advice Bureau.

The organisation has dealt with 780 cases over the last six months and found cases of lenders taking more than they were owed, misusing direct access to customers’ bank accounts, and irresponsible lending – including to drunk people.

A study of customer feedback on 2,000 payday loans from 113 different lenders during the period found many borrowers were pressurised to extend their loans.

“The payday loan industry is out of control and is acting as a law unto itself,” said CAB chief executive Gillian Guy.

However, the study also found that the industry, which has promised to reform in the face of an ongoing Office of Fair Trading probe, is being much clearer about how much loans will cost in total.