Poll: Should councils block advertising of payday loan companies?


- Credit: PA

Would you like to see your local council take steps to prevent access to payday loan companies?

One local council in the south of England is taking those steps, by blocking access to websites offering payday loans and stopping such lenders from advertising on billboards and bus stops.

Plymouth City Council, controlled by a Labour administration, is thought to be the first local authority to take such action.

The rise of payday loan companies during the economic downturn has been a controversial subject in recent years.

Huge interest rates on the short-term loans have led to criticism of the industry taking advantage of vulnerable and desperate people, charging up to 4,000pc in annual interest rates.

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The Financial Conduct Authority will take on regulation of the industry in April 2014 and is considering a blanket ban on advertising by the payday lenders.

But Plymouth City Council has now taken the step of blocking the 50 most used payday loan websites on the council's computer network, including at libraries and community centres.

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The authority has also agreed with commercial partners to stop the payday lenders advertising on billboards and bus stops.

Chris Penberthy, the council's cabinet member for community development, said: '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.'

Now the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News wants to know if you would like to see similar steps taken in your area.

Cast your vote in the poll above and leave comments below, including which area you live in.

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