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Back the Charter to Stop the Payday Loan Rip-off

This petition had 5,771 supporters

Payday lenders are ripping off millions of people, trapping them in spirals of debt. We need proper regulation and enforcement to make this stop.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published new proposals for regulating payday lenders. They are a step in the right direction, but they don’t go far enough. They wouldn’t stop the problems faced by Monika, who is one of my constituents.

Monika is a single mum with 3 kids –I’ve changed her name to protect her anonymity. To help pay the bills she took out loans from multiple payday lenders, but quickly got into serious financial difficulty. When she couldn’t pay back on time, lenders encouraged her to rollover the loans, charging her extra every time. Then without telling her they repeatedly raided her bank account, so she couldn’t pay the bills or her rent, and the debts piled up.

Monika would not be properly protected by the FCA’s proposed regulation. Payday lenders could still drip-feed new loans to people like Monika who have payday debts. Other lenders could still give her new loans and she could still be hit with escalating penalty fees and have her bank account raided without being told. The proposals don’t tackle these issues and won’t be enforced until October 2014.  This isn’t good enough – we need tougher rules from the FCA.

I’m calling for the FCA to back the Charter to Stop the Payday Loan Rip-off. I’m being supported by some of Britain’s biggest debt, consumer and anti-poverty organisations – including Which?, Citizens Advice, StepChange Debt Charity, Church Action on Poverty and the Centre for Responsible Credit. The Charter was launched by a cross-party group of MPs, and is backed by MPs and peers from the Labour Party, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, SNP, DUP, Alliance Party, SDLP, Green Party and Plaid Cymru. The Women's InstituteNational Union of Students (NUS), Unite the Union, UNISON and Centrepoint are also backing the Charter. Will you join me too?

But we need to act quickly. The FCA is asking for views on its proposals, so now is the time to tell them to back the Charter and introduce tougher regulation and enforcement. If this ‘once in a generation’ opportunity is missed, payday lenders will be able to carry on exploiting people like Monika up and down the country.

Please sign my petition to back the Charter and help stop the Payday Loan Rip-off.

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