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OFT criticised for approach to payday loan charges

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has been criticised for not being effective enough in its approach to payday lenders.

Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said the OFT has been "timid in the extreme".

But the OFT responded by saying it had taken "strong, targeted action" but that it had been held back by legal constraints.

So far, the OFT has investigated 50 payday lenders over their practices and gave them a 12-week deadline to change these. Since the OFT has been cracking down on payday loans, two lenders have surrendered their licences while a further three have had theirs revoked.

Ms Hodge criticised payday lenders for preying on vulnerable people on low incomes, encouraging them to take out loans to tide them over that they cannot really afford.

As a result, consumers have been unable to pay off their loans on time and the high interest rates of these have caused their debts to spiral out of control.

Amir Hussain

Amir specialises in personal loans, consumer debt and debt management.ADNFCR-2776-ID-801593169-ADNFCR

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