Bedford Payday Loans Watch goes ahead

Mortgage Introducer's sister title, Loan Introducer, exclusively revealed that plans were in place to start a Payday Watch Group in April after debt agencies met to discuss the controversial short-term loans.

Bedford Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Bedford Credit Union (CAB), Age UK Bedfordshire and the Salvation Army Debt Advice Service will work together to raise awareness of the loans going forward.

The Payday Loans Watch will pass information onto the Citizens Advice Bureau to aid discussions with the Financial Conduct Authority.

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 in March.

Patrick Hall, Labour Party candidate for Bedford and Kempston, who originally assembled the debt agencies said: “We’ve decided to go ahead with the watch group and we’re seeking a meeting Bedford Borough Council.

“When people search for payday loans on council websites we will be putting up alternative messages.”

“That’s the first step. There will be others I hope.”

Organisations that offer financial advice such as Christians Against Poverty and the Salvation Army will document the experiences of locals engaging with payday lenders so local data gets distributed nationally.

Hall said: “We are hoping to contribute to the communication between the Citizens Advice Bureau UK and the Financial Conduct Authority.”