Call For Executive To Tackle Dangerous Levels Of Payday Lending

The Northern Ireland Executive must do more to tackle the damaging and dangerous levels of payday and illegal lending in Northern Ireland, according to a report produced by NICVA and Advice NI.

NICVA's Centre for Economic Empowerment has commissioned a review of expensive lending in Northern Ireland, both legal and illegal. The report found that both types of expensive lending are having negative impacts on individuals and local communities. They have urged the Executive to do more to tackle the negative aspects of payday and illegal lending.

Seamus McAleavey, NICVA Chief Executive said: "Our review found that it is too easy for people to get into debt with a number of lenders. We saw many cases where a relatively small initial loan spiralled into a debt of thousands of pounds. Ironically it seems that many people’s financial situations actually worsen as a result of using payday loans.

"These loans are being taken out by people on low incomes who are in work, as well as people who are not in work. They are using the money to make ends meet and pay for essential items such as utility bills and school uniforms."

He added: "More worryingly, our review found paramilitary involvement in illegal money lending, mostly in working class communities. Our politicians and police need to take a much more open and robust approach to dealing with this criminal activity.

"We need to look at the multi-agency approach used in Great Britain, where police and Trading Standards work together to remove illegal lenders from the communities they are preying on and to support victims of illegal lending in accessing debt advice and rebuilding their finances."

The review found that for those individuals who find themselves with problem debt, the experience is traumatic and extremely stressful. Those experiencing problem debt reported both personal and familial costs, including depression and suicidal thoughts, and that within families the greatest concern is the impact debt has on children.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

19 February 2019
Man Fined £40K For Waste Offences In Antrim
A man has been ordered to pay a £40,000 fine after pleading guilty to six breaches of waste management legislation. Noel Samuel McAllister, 73, from Ballycarry was fined under the Proceeds of Crime Act at Antrim Crown Court on Monday 18 February.
21 March 2018
Investigation Launched After Disabled Man's Vehicle Stolen In South Belfast
An investigation has launched after a man with a severe disability had his car stolen in south Belfast. The keys of the specially-adapted Honda Jazz are believed to have been stolen during a break-in at a property in the Windsor Avenue area between 1.30pm and 4pm on Monday, 19 March.
13 March 2018
Man Found In Moneymore Sustained Gunshot Wound To His Head
A man found injured in Moneymore in L'Derry has sustained a gunshot wound to his head, according to the police. The 22-year-old victim was discovered slumped in a vehicle in the Carndaisy Road area at around 9.50pm on Friday, 09 March. He is currently being treated in hospital. Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.
30 October 2017
Two Men Charged Over Kidnapping In L'Derry
Two men have been charged over a kidnapping in Co L'Derry. The charges are in relation to an incident on Thursday, 26 October, in which a man was pulled into a vehicle in the Westway area. He was later found safe and well. The suspects, aged 31 and 33, are due to appear before Londonderry Magistrates' court today, 30 October.
23 October 2017
Man's Body Found In Co Antrim
A 36-year-old man has been arrested after a man's body was found in Co Antrim. His body was discovered on Townhill Road at around 10am on Sunday, 22 October. A post-mortem is to be carried out and his death is being treated as suspicious. Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan said: "The local community has been left in shock by this news.