Haringey council has banned the top 50 payday loans sites from appearing across its entire IT network. This ban on payday loans sites will cover computers within libraries, community centres and other council buildings.
The ban on these payday loans sites is to protect residents from “the pitfalls of excessive interest rates”.
Payday Loans sites Banned
The council said it would “help ensure residents avoid falling into spirals of ever-increasing debt”.
Councillor Joe Goldberg, the cabinet member for finance, said the council “wanted to make it very difficult [for payday loan firms] to do business in our borough”.
He said: “The biggest players are online and they are offering loans very quickly which, when people turn to payday lenders, is generally what they want.
“It didn’t make sense that in the places where we were offering advice and help to residents, we had computers where they could access payday loans.”
Goldberg said the council wanted to encourage residents to use the Haringey, Islington and City Credit Union instead of going to lenders that charge interest rates often in excess of 4,000% APR. In 2012, the council made £750,000 of loans available to the union, which it said could be passed on to up to 1,500 residents.
Payday Lenders Investigated
Maple leaf financial has written about the rise of payday loans previously and in April payday lenders were investigated by the consumer watchdog for their lending practices and were issued an ultimatum : Clean up in 12 weeks, or face a ban.
The office of fair trading investigated 50 payday lenders (making up 90% of the market) and revealed there is widespread irresponsible lending.
Haringey council has not advised which top 50 payday loans sites have been banned, but we assume it may be the same list that was warned by the consumer watchdog.
The Office of Fair Trading report into payday lenders 1st paragraph
The payday loans market is not working well for many consumers. Our review has found evidence of widespread non-compliance with the Consumer Credit Act and other legislation. Payday lenders are also not meeting the standards set out in our Irresponsible Lending Guidance.
This widespread non-compliance with the Consumer Credit Act is what leads us to believe that these payday loans are going to be “the next mis-selling scandal“.
Google takes on Payday loans
Google also tackled payday loans recently, not because of their lending practises (you can still use pay to appear in Adwords for payday loans) but because sites were using methods to rank in the search results that did not comply with Google’s TOS.
Google released an algorithm to try and identify and remove sites that were appearing for the search “payday loans” by using a massive amount of links and redirecting to a payday loans site, this is called a doorway page. The original algorithm was not very successful as these payday loan sites were being designed to be caught after a few days and then replaced with another stream of site.
Google has now managed to remove these payday loan doorway sites, either by devaluing links in this vertical Or by having their spam algorithm constantly monitoring this verticle.
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