Payday loan ads banned in Plymouth

Posted by Jessica Searle in Banking on 29 July 2013 - Jessica worked as a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile until 2013

Following the decision by Cheshire East Council to ban access to payday websites from its computers, Plymouth City Council has taken this one step further by banning use of billboard and bus-stop advertising within its jurisdiction.

There are an estimated two million people nationally making use of such types of credit, with Plymouth City Council estimating that 5,000 of those individuals are residing in its city. This decision has come after the Labour-led council has seen an increase in their advice agencies taking calls regarding the hardship caused by debt.

Chris Penberthy, the cabinet member for community development, says, "Plymouth's advice agencies are taking calls daily from people who are running up huge debts that are causing stress and hardship to them and their families. We need to protect people and make it difficult for payday loan companies to operate in our city."

Across the entirety of the council's computer network, which includes those at libraries and community centres, 50 of the most popular payday loan websites will be blocked. Agreements have also been made with commercial partners across the city to cease the advertisement on public billboards and bus shelters.

Penberthy has expressed his hope that other local authorities will follow suit, expressing a desire that this will make the services offered by credit unions as a more “affordable lending option for people that won't trap them with massive interest rates".

A Money Advice co-ordinator for Citizens Advice in Devon and Cornwall says, "It's difficult to overestimate the harm payday loans are causing to Plymouth residents. The Citizens Advice Bureau is seeing an ever increasing epidemic of despair caused by these unscrupulous merchants of misery. Plymouth City Council's initiative is really welcome and represents a constructive first step in combating the unacceptable face of the financial services industry."

This has obviously been met by fierce resistance by representatives of the payday lenders, many accusing the council of denying customer's a free choice. With 85% of payday customers encountering little or no difficulties in paying back their loans, as claimed by Russell Hamblin-Boone, chief executive of the Consumer Finance Association.

He adds, "The council is effectively denying choice to local residents without fully understanding either the short-term lending industry or the way people are managing their finances in 2013... the council's belief that the loans are detrimental to those that take them is misplaced and not based on evidence."

The council's actions have been taken as an assumption of the actions the Financial Conduct Authority may take upon assuming regulation of the payday loan industry in April 2014. The FCA has expressed concerns particularly concerning the targeting of high-cost loans to students and young people, and other at greater risk. Although as of yet out-right bans of adverts has been described as a 'quite extreme' option.

Although the council will not have control over all of the billboards within Plymouth, and payday loan adverts will not completely disappear, it is the first council in the country to take such action – though highly unlikely to be the last.

Jessica Searle is a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile and has a degree in English Literature from the University of Exeter. You can contact her at

Final PPI claim deadline pushed back even further

Let’s be honest, we almost all know someone who has claimed for PPI. You may have even done it yourself. If you aren’t aware of anyone you know claiming for PPI, you would still know of its existence, as the adverts for claims firms seem to populate every TV channel and radio station with advertising space.

Published on 4 Jan 2017 by Ben Tumilty

Full Article

Banks not going far enough to combat fraud

Banks have been warned that they must start to do more to tackle scams where people are tricked into transferring money to a fraudster’s account. The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has stated this in a response to a “super complaint” lodged by the consumer group Which? but the Regulator did stop short of suggesting that the banks should compensate customers who had lost out.

Published on 21 Dec 2016 by Erika Bone

Full Article

Lloyds Acquire MBNA in £1.9bn Deal

Signalling a return to strength and in the organisation’s first acquisition since the 2008 global financial crisis when they purchased HBOS, Lloyds Bank is to buy credit card firm MBNA from Bank of America in a £1.9bn deal.

Published on 20 Dec 2016 by Tom Magor

Full Article

Mortgages through your mobile

Mobile bank provider Atom are launching the UK’s first mobile mortgage app. Applications for a mortgage often involve mountains of paperwork and Atom’s mortgage app is designed at reducing the volume of paperwork that applicants have to gather when applying for a mortgage.

Published on 8 Dec 2016 by Ben Ryland

Full Article

Compensation Scheme Limit Increases Due to Financial Uncertainty

The compensation limit for consumers who would lose out financially in the event of their bank collapsing has been increased back up to £85,000, which is where it was in July 2015.

Published on 23 Nov 2016 by Kevin Pearce

Full Article

Further Job cuts and Branch closures at Lloyds

The Lloyds Banking Groups is set to cut a further 665 jobs and close a further 49 branches as part of its continuing drive to cut costs.

Published on 14 Nov 2016 by Neil Greenhill

Full Article

Payday Loan Industry Contracts as Watchdog Bites

In the wake of a crackdown from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the payday lending industry has drastically contracted, represented by a near 70% reduction in overall lending. To draw upon Russell Hamblin-Boone of the Consumer Finance Association, a mere 1.8m short term loans were issued over the course of 2015, compared to 10m in 2012.

Published on 9 Nov 2016 by Tom Magor

Full Article

Bank of England indicates massive increase in inflation for 2017

The Bank of England has reassessed its 2017 inflation forecast in the wake of Brexit and increased its prediction to triple the current rate of inflation. The UK’s central bank now expects the rate of inflation to reach 2.7% next year, whereas the current level stands at 1%.

Published on 7 Nov 2016 by Neil Greenhill

Full Article

Bank of England governor will extend stay until June 2019

Mark Carney will extend his tenure as the Bank of England Governor until June 2019, in order to guide the country through the Brexit negotiations.

Published on 1 Nov 2016 by Simon Hadley

Full Article

Digital only banks attract scepticism from UK consumers

Earlier this year, Atom became the first UK bank to operate solely through a mobile app. Based in Durham, it has only 30 staff and unlike much larger banks it has no branches or call centres – communication is conducted with its customers securely through a mobile app.

Published on 19 Oct 2016 by Tom Blandford

Full Article


We are rated number 1 for customer service on