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Citizens Advice response to Financial Ombudsman Service complaints

The Financial Ombudsman Service’s latest quarterly complaints data shows a rise in issues with payday loans. Between, April and September 2016, the Ombudsman received over 5,000 payday loan complaints, compared to 3,200 between April 2015 and March 2016.  

There has also been a rise in hire purchase complaints made to the Ombudsman this quarter.  The number of people seeking Citizens Advice’s help for rent to own debts has gone up from 1,612 between April and June 2015 to 1,858 for the same quarter this year.  

Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Gillian Guy, said:

“People are still falling foul of payday loan firms that don’t do the necessary checks.

“The number of payday loan problems we’ve helped people with has halved since the FCA introduced a price cap on payday loan interest rates and fees in 2015. But our evidence shows some firms are still failing to carry out basic checks to make sure people can afford to pay back what they borrow.

“To build on its improvement of the payday loan sector, the FCA should consider making its responsible lending guidance rules that lenders have to follow. This would mean lenders would be required to check whether borrowers can afford a loan.

“The FCA also needs to make sure people aren’t getting into difficulty because of other forms of high cost credit. We have helped more people with rent to own debts than last year, with many reporting problems with meeting repayments.

“Extending the payday loan price cap to the rent to own market could protect consumers from the high cost of these agreements and stop people falling into worsening debt.”

what consumers complained about most to the ombudsman service in July, August and September 2016 

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk 
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.

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