Speaking to Scottish Liberal Democrat autumn conference in Glasgow today, Scottish Liberal Democrat MP and Minister of State for Business and Consumer Affairs Jo Swinson set out how she was taking steps to build a stronger economy and a fairer society by tackling unscrupulous payday lenders.
In her speech to conference, Jo Swinson said:
“Since becoming the Minister responsible last year, I’ve tackled this issue head on.
“Last December we published research on the problems and options for action.
“In March we saw the Office of Fair Trading announce a crackdown amidst evidence of the widespread failure of the industry to treat customers fairly.
“In June the entire industry was referred to the Competition Commission for a full investigation.
“In July I convened a summit to put the industry on make it crystal clear to the industry that they need to get their house in order or shut up shop.
“And as a result of this tough action, 19 of the top 50 payday lenders have left the market, and a further 3 have had their credit licences revoked.
“As a Government we have made clear the need to tackle the key problems, and we’re putting in place a tough new regulator with much sharper teeth.
“Later this month tough new rules proposed for payday lenders will be published by the Financial Conduct Authority, which takes over responsibility for the industry from April. We have given them sweeping new powers to ban products, impose unlimited fines, and order firms to pay money back to consumers.”