Students urge Newham council to ban payday loan adverts

Students from the University of East London and TELCO representatives presenting a petition of 1000

Students from the University of East London and TELCO representatives presenting a petition of 1000 signatures calling on Newham council to ban adeverts for payday loans in the borough to Cllr Conor McAuley. - Credit: Archant

Payday loan advertising should be banned in Newham, according to students from the University of East London.

Students want the university’s campus-wide ban on payday loan adverts to be extended throughout the borough and presented a petition of 1,000 signatures to Newham Council in conjunction with members of The East London Communities Organisation (TELCO) on Friday.

Their call comes as research shows that one in 10 of UEL students have taken out payday loans to finance their way through their studies.

Politics lecturer Tim Hall, who has led the campaign, says the council needs to reduce exposure to “preditatory lending”.

“The responses to our questionnaires show very few people had heard of alternatives to payday loans, with just four pc having heard of credit unions, whereas everybody had heard of Wonga, Quid Quick and others,” he said. “The advertisements are ubiquitous - on bill boards, the DLR, the tubes and trains.

“Plymouth Council banned the advertisements last year and we are asking Newham to follow suit.”

Dr Hall said the response from the council has been positive.

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“The idea is that looking forward we can work with the council on how to combat the problem,” he said.

Emmanuel Gotoa, lead organiser of TELCO , said: “We are trying to limit what is often a preditatory process of lending as companies have been known to lend money to people who are already in financial trouble without checks to make sure that people can pay the money back.

“By reducing advertising in public places, we are helping to protect the most vulnerable in our society.”

Payday loans typically have an APR of between 1000 and 6000 pc, meaning borrowing £100 could land you with an final bill of £6,000 over 12 months.