Responding to the news that former singer and reality TV star Kerry Katona is to front a new TV advert for payday lender Stella Creasy MP said;

“Behind the glossy celebrity endorsement, the thing Kerry doesn’t say is that this firm charges an interest rate of 2670%. Little wonder with rates like these so many women get into problems borrowing from payday lenders, with debt charities reporting a surge in the number coming to them for help. That’s why its sad to see someone who knows first hand the misery of being in debt encouraging others to use legal loan sharks rather than credit unions when they need a loan. Household names who see a short term cash boost for their own bank balances advertising these firms risk promoting companies who are doing long term damage to the finances of millions of British families. That’s why we need action now to cap what these companies can charge to help the women struggling to make ends meet in 2013.”

Whilst the Government has finally agreed to give the new Financial Conduct Authority the power to limit the prices consumer credit companies can charge, this power won’t come into force until 2014. Without action now, and with the rising costs households will face, 2013 could be a window of opportunity for these so-called legal loan sharks.

To prevent this, the #Sharkstoppers campaign is now calling on the OFT to strengthen the ‘irresponsible lending guidance’ for these firms in 2013. You can find out how you can help this campaign, along with a sample letter to send to your MP about the role of the OFT by clicking here.

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