Published date : 09 Nov 2016

Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP Jenny Gilruth MSP has backed calls from a national debt advice charity for the Financial Conduct Authority to tighten regulations around the payday loan market.

This follows a report published by StepChange Debt Charity, the UK’s largest debt advice charity, which found that regulations had “not fixed” the payday lending market, with some payday loan providers still not engaging in best practice.

Last year, 7.3% of those who contacted StepChange Debt Charity from Mid Fife and Glenrothes had a payday loan debt, with their average payday debt balance at £896.13. Although the charity has reported less and less people seeking help with payday debt, those who are turning to payday loans do not always get a fair deal.

Commenting, Jenny Gilruth MSP said: “Debt can happen to anyone at any time and it is important that my constituents know that there are free debt advice organisations they can turn to like StepChange Debt Charity instead of using payday loans which, most often only exacerbate people’s debt problems and can lead to severe long term financial difficulties.”

Stepchange Debt Charity Scotland’s Public Affairs Officer James Stewart added: “Regulation can make a significant difference to broken markets and FCA action over the last few years has gone some way to fixing the worst excesses of payday lending, but there is clearly still work to be done.

“Poor lending practices and the poor treatment of people in financial difficulty have serious consequences. They trap people in a cycle of repeated borrowing and as their balances continue to mount, so does the stress and anxiety that comes with severe problem debt.

“It is essential that the FCA review of the payday lending cap is broad enough to fix areas of consumer detriment and poor lending practices."

The StepChange Debt Charity’s free phone helpline: 0800 138 1111 is open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm Saturday. Online help is also available any time from StepChange Debt Charity Debt Remedy at For more information follow @StepChange on Twitter.

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