ISLE OF MAN OFFICE OF FAIR TRADING SEEKS INFORMATION FROM CONSUMERS ON PAYDAY LOANS
The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading (OFT), as the registration authority under the Moneylenders Act 1991, is seeking information from local consumers about their experiences with payday loans. The OFT’s Chairman, David Quirk MHK explained:
“The UK Office of Fair Trading recently published a Report on the payday loan sector in the UK and concluded that it had found fundamental problems with the way the payday market works and widespread breaches of the law and regulations, causing misery and hardship for many borrowers. As the registration authority in the Island we are interested in hearing the experiences of local consumers who have accessed the services.”
Payday lending consists of the provision of small sum unsecured cash loans on a short-term basis, typically repayable on the consumer’s next payday or at the end of the month, but specifically excluding home credit (where repayments are collected in the consumer’s home). Some payday lending providers also engage in wider activities such as pawnbroking, medium-term loans, cheque cashing, gold buying, foreign currency exchange, international money transfers or buying and selling of second-hand goods.
Consumers can access payday loans in various ways. They can borrow locally from lenders who are registered with the OFT as moneylenders and they can also access payday loans through online and call centre channels from lenders in other jurisdictions. Typically these are UK based because these are the services which are heavily (and based on the UKOFT Report, often misleadingly) marketed in the UK media.
The OFT has created an online survey which can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/iomoftpaydayloansconsumers .
Chief Officer, Mike Ball explained:
“If you have a personal experience of payday loans from whatever source, be it via local lenders or obtained online or through a call centre, or even if it was from an illegal moneylender, we would like to hear about your experiences. Everything you tell us will be treated in confidence. The information provided will help us understand whether the local payday loan market is functioning in the interest of consumers and ultimately inform a decision as to whether further action on the part of the Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading is needed.”
Anyone who wishes to complete the survey in paper format can obtain a copy from the OFT’s counter at Government Building, Lord Street, Douglas or by telephoning 686500.