Blast over bid to curb lenders

GLASGOW has criticised a Scottish Government delay in limiting the number of payday lenders.

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The Government proposes to introduce tighter regulations and stricter planning procedures to help reduce the presence of controversial loan companies. It says there are about 180 to 200 payday lenders on Scotland's high streets.

It plans to set up a new Financial Health Service that will offer money advice services and promote credit unions.

Local Government Minister Derek Mackay said: "Payday loan companies are not only blighting our high streets but are exposing people to financial credit they just cannot afford."

Mr Mackay, who claimed the new measures were a step in the right direction, said councils would be able to prevent groups of payday lenders setting up near each other.

There will also be controls on betting shops opening beside payday loan firms.

Glasgow has been leading the way in clamping down on payday lenders and city treasurer Paul Rooney criticised the delay in the Government moves.

He said: "When at least 100,000 Glaswegians are using this kind of credit - borrowing £57 million every year - taking six months to decide you will have a think about it in 2016 is not good enough.

"At a local level, we are working hard to support sustainable credit and savings and the new Financial Conduct Authority is coming forward with plans to cut the most irresponsible lenders out of the market."

vivienne.nicoll@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Finance

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