Unite, Britain's biggest union, has backed calls for the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to use its new powers to immediately suspend four payday lenders' licences for causing distress to customers.
From 19 February 2013, the OFT will be able to immediately suspend the consumer credit licence of companies to protect consumers, if firms are using practices that are deceitful, oppressive or unfair. Currently lenders can continue trading as normal while being investigated.
The Citizens Advice Bureau is urging the OFT to use these new powers to suspend the licences of four payday lenders which it believes have been "causing significant distress" to customers.
Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey said:
"We back these calls for payday loan sharks to lose their licences. We know that people are struggling to make it through the month, with many telling us that they need to borrow an average of £327 a month to get by.
"The conduct of these subprime lenders is disgraceful, hounding people for money they don't have, invading their privacy and generally making lives miserable.
"It is a parasitical, nasty way to make a profit. The OFT needs to throw the book at them."
Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
Notes to editors: Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.