Complaints About Payday Loan Companies ‘Up by 178% Last Year’

May 26, 2016

The number of complaints being made by consumers around the UK about the practices of payday loan companies increased by as much as 178 per cent in the year to March of this year.

That’s according to the Financial Ombudsman, which has revealed that it received 3,216 complaints about short-term and high-interest lenders during 2015-16, as compared with just 1,157 in the previous 12-month period.

The increase in how commonly UK consumers complain about payday loan companies has come despite the practices of these lenders having been the focus of a concerted Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) clampdown over the past few years.

It has been suggested that the rise in the number of complaints to the Financial Ombudsman about short-term lenders is a reflection of a growing awareness of consumer rights in these particular contexts.

According to the ombudsman’s figures, while payday lenders are a common source of frustration for UK consumers, they are far from being the most prominent cause of irritation and anger around the country.

Indeed, the Financial Ombudsman has indicated that Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) is by far the most common source of consternation among Brits of all ages.

As many as 188,712 complaints about PPI were lodged with the organisation in the year to the end of March 2016, with 8 per cent more people having complained on that same subject in the previous 12 months.

There were also 44,244 complaints registered about issues relating to packaged bank accounts over the course of the most recent 12-month period.

In the context of payday lending, companies in the UK have been obliged to carry out more thorough affordability checks and to reign in some of their debt-chasing tactics as a result of FCA action and regulatory changes over the course of the past two years.

It is also now the case that payday lenders operating in Britain can charge their customers no more than 0.8 per cent per day of the amounts initially borrowed.

Another aspect of the FCA’s clampdown has been focussed on limiting the ability for payday lenders to take money out directly from their customers’ bank accounts.

If you are struggling with personal debts of any kind and you live in Scotland then Scotland Debt Solutions may be able to help. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation.

 

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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