WEB BANS FOR PAYDAY FIRMS; Councils Move to Protect Residents

Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England), August 2, 2013 | Go to article overview

WEB BANS FOR PAYDAY FIRMS; Councils Move to Protect Residents


Byline: JOE THOMAS @joe_thomas18

ACCESS to payday loan websites has been blocked by several Merseyside councils in an attempt to protect vulnerable residents from high-interest loans.

Wirral, Knowsley and Liverpool councils have each introduced the ban on all public access computers in their buildings.

Sefton and St Helens are both currently considering the move.

Under the ban anybody using council computers in libraries, leisure centres and other buildings will be blocked from viewing the websites of payday loan firms.

Keen to prevent people getting trapped in high-interest loans, Wirral's leaders were among the first in the country to back the scheme, introducing it on Monday.

Cllr Chris Meaden, Wirral's cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "This action will prevent literally hundreds of sites which offer dangerous, unsecured loans from being accessed from our computer network.

"We are one of the first councils to take action to restrict access to these sites, which prey on people who are desperate and seeking help.

"This is only the first step in tackling this problem. Advice about managing debt can be obtained from the Wirral website and at our One Stop Shops."

The move came after the Archbishop of Canterbury - former Dean of Liverpool Justin Welby - vowed to put firms such as Wonga out of business, saying the Church of England will compete with it by expanding its own credit unions. …

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