Bedford locals will start a ‘payday watch’ group to raise awareness and influence the FCA about the controversial short-term loans, Patrick Hall, Labour Party candidate for Bedford and Kempston, has announced.
The independent group will be comprised of locals from the voluntary sector, faith groups and the public, and will seek to work with the Bedford Borough Council.
On Friday debt agencies such as Bedford Credit Union, Money Advice, Family Groups, Salvation Army, Bedfordshire Advice Forum and Christians Against Poverty debated the problem of payday loans in the town’s St Peter De Merton Church Chapter House.
The debate included a presentation from the Citizens Advice Bureau, who summarised how payday lenders have been operating, including how they have commonly broken their code of conduct.
Hall, who assembled the debt agencies, said: “What we have agreed to do is set up an umbrella group, something like Bedford Payday Watch and seek more active involvement and support from Bedford Borough Council to try and involve the public more, to influence the government and FCA.”
The gathering also featured a presentation from the Bedford Credit Union, who are geared towards encouraging savers.