Restricting access to payday loan company websites

As part of our work to support residents with financial worries we're restricting access to payday loan company websites from all our computers.

Anyone trying to access lending sites from any county council computer will be re-directed to sources of safe, affordable loans such as Credit Unions, financial support services and welfare rights advice.

The move will affect all 7,000 of the computers we own across the county including those in libraries and those used by our employees.

It follows concerns about very high interest rates charged by payday loan companies on short-term loans − often over 2,000% on a 12-month period − and research by the Office of Fair Trading which identified a range of poor practices.

These include unfair charges and penalties for people struggling to repay loans and irresponsible lending where checks are not made to ensure customers can afford repayments.

There are many alternatives to using payday loan companies and other high-risk borrowing and we can help residents find sources of safe, affordable loans, point them in the right direction for financial support services and provide information about welfare benefits.