MPs call on Chancellor to tackle ‘legal loan sharks’ charging 82p-in-the-�

Measures to tackle ‘legal loan sharking’ have been called for by MP Jim Fitzpatrick in an amendment to the Chancellor’s budget.

Labour’s Shadow Transport minister today joined other MPs calling on the Government to tackle the threat posed by high-cost lenders to needy families in debt.

Many families face a spiral of debt in his Polar & Limehouse constituency in London’s poverty-stricken East End—one of the most deprived areas in the country.

“This Budget falls woefully short of help for increasingly hard-pressed families,” he said.

“This amendment would put an end to extortionate high-cost lending and make these companies think twice before exploiting customers.”

The high-cost door-to-door or home credit lending market, used by an estimated three-million families, legally charges �82 interest and collection fees for every �100 it lends.

The proposed amendment to the Finance Bill seeks to make sure the Government’s bank levy includes high-cost unsecured lenders such as payday, home credit and hire purchase agreement lenders, when there is evidence of detriment to consumers in these markets.

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It calls for a review to extend the bank levy to deter high-cost lenders trapping people in cycles of debt and compound interest.