Complaints made about payday loan companies increased by as much as 130 per cent over the course of the last year as compared with the previous 12 months.
That’s according to official figures on the subject released by the Financial Ombudsman, which has said that complaints about financial service companies in general increased sharply and to a five-year high during 2018/19.
Issues relating to payday loans were among the most common reference points for people officially registering grievances with the ombudsman, with roughly 40,000 complaints made about payday lenders last year.
In many cases, complaints were being made with regard to the affordability of payday loans and the issues were often pursued with the ombudsman by claims management companies on behalf of individual consumers.
A total of 388,000 complaints about all types of financial services were lodged with the Financial Ombudsman over the course of the full year 2018/19, the latest figures show.
“Too often we see that the interests of consumers are not hard-wired into financial services,” commented Caroline Wayman, chief executive of the ombudsman service.
“This marks a five-year high in the number of complaints that consumers have brought to us, and the behaviour we’ve seen from some businesses is simply not good enough,” she said.
Mike Holmyard from Citizens Advice Scotland has said that many of the biggest issues with payday lenders were resolved through relevant legislation introduced in 2014.
However, Mr Holmyard also said that the sheer number of complaints still being made about payday lenders shows that their “previous excesses” are still having an impact on the finances of a lot of people around the country.
“It is clear from these figures that the credit market as a whole is not working for consumers,” he said.
“There is still an absence of affordable credit options, and too many people just don’t have enough income to live on.”
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