Welsh Government
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Minister Hits Out at Pay Day Loan Companies

Local Government and Communities Minister Carl Sargeant has hit out at pay day loan companies and high cost money lenders for targeting vulnerable people and those on fixed or reduced incomes.

Addressing the Wales Credit Unions Forum in Wrexham, the Minister said that the Welsh Government was supporting credit unions to help promote their services more widely so that people are aware that affordable alternatives to high interest loans are available.

The Minister said that the current TV advertising campaign commissioned by the Welsh credit unions and supported by the Welsh Government was a welcome step in raising awareness.

Carl Sargeant said:

"Media advertising from payday loan companies is unrelenting and is unashamedly aimed at people on low incomes, families struggling to meet the cost of living and people that are financially excluded by the high street banks.

"The Welsh credit union advertising campaign has been scheduled between primetime TV programmes such as The Jeremy Kyle Show and Loose Women when payday loan adverts frequently feature to help reach those people who may not be at work and who can ill afford to make high interest repayments.

"I hope that as well as helping to raise the profile of credit unions in Wales, this campaign will help put an end to companies who exploit those in need of financial support.  Rather than offering a solution, these companies lead people into a downward spiral of unmanageable debt.

"Since April 2009, Welsh Credit Unions have helped more than 9000 people by providing information, support and financial services that are an affordable alternative to doorstep lenders.  I hope that following this campaign more people take the opportunity to access the services that credit unions offer."

The Minister added that the Welsh Government was focused on delivering the Credit Union Action Plan to help credit unions improve their viability and sustainability through improved governance and business planning arrangements, together with better training support for directors, staff and volunteers.

"Delivering on this plan together with the funding available from the Access to Financial Products through Credit Unions Project will make a significant contribution to ensuring that credit unions in Wales are viable and sustainable organisations in the future," he said.

Related Links

Credit unions

Wales Illegal money lending Unit (WIMLU)