Press Release

Committee Investigates Payday Lending Schemes

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Tuesday, 05 February 2013

Reference: ETI 05/12/13

The Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, hosted an event in Parliament Buildings today to investigate payday lending and specifically, regulation of payday lending schemes. 

Guests at the event included representatives from the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Citizens Advice, Advice NI, the Consumer Council, DETI’s Consumer Affairs Branch, the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) and the Ulster Federation of Credit Unions (UFCU).   

Committee Chairperson, Patsy McGlone MLA said, “The responsibility of the regulation of consumer credit is moving from the Office of Fair Trading to the Financial Conduct Authority when it replaces the FSA in the very near future.  In light of this, the Committee is ensuring that the FSA is fully aware of the key issues with the current regulatory regime and that nothing is overlooked during the transition.  This includes issues relating to irresponsible lending such as credit checks not being undertaken and high levels of interest on loans, which can often exceed 4,000% APR.

“I am delighted to have engaged with these key stakeholders to obtain their expert views on the issue and to discuss solutions; specifically their views on what needs to be put in place in future regulation to ensure that similar problems do not arise for consumers in the future.”

The Chairperson concluded: “Payday lending schemes are becoming more and more popular and utilisation of such schemes is steadily increasing.  As such, it is important that the appropriate regulations and levels of regulation are in place to protect the consumer; the Committee is keen to work with local stakeholders to ensure this outcome is achieved.”   

ENDS

From L-R: Sinéad Campbell, Advice NI; Aodhan O’Donnell, Consumer Council; Robin Newton MLA, Committee Member; Patsy McGlone MLA, Chairperson of Committee; Steven Agnew MLA, Committee Member; Neil Dhot, FSA; Rachael Gray, Citizens Advice.

From L-R: Sinéad Campbell, Advice NI; Aodhan O’Donnell, Consumer Council; Robin Newton MLA, Committee Member; Patsy McGlone MLA, Chairperson of Committee; Steven Agnew MLA, Committee Member; Neil Dhot, FSA; Rachael Gray, Citizens Advice.


Notes to Editors:

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will be the new regulator whose vision it is to make markets work well so consumers get a fair deal. The FCA will start work in 2013, when it will receive new powers from the Financial Services Bill that is currently going through parliament.

Under the Northern Ireland Act 1998, financial services, including banking and deposit-taking are reserved matters.

Committee Membership:

Mr. Patsy McGlone (Chairperson)
Mr. Phil Flanagan (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr. Stephen Agnew
Mr. Gordon Dunne
Mr. Paul Frew
Mr. Alban Maginness
Ms. Maeve McLaughlin
Mr. Stephen Moutray
Mr. Robin Newton
Mrs. Sandra Overend
Ms. Sue Ramsey

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