Ambitious plans have been unveiled as Leeds bids to become a payday loan-free city.
Council bosses are discussing measures to stop some of the city’s poorest families from being trapped in a cycle of poverty and debt.
Their new campaign aims to tackle high-cost lending following a recent boom in people turning to lenders and loan sharks to make ends meet.
The YEP revealed that up to 60,000 people in Leeds could be forced to use high-interest lenders. Around 22,500 people are believed to have taken out payday loans to pay their bills.
Council chiefs are teaming up with voluntary, private and public sector partners to support some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.
Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield, said: “The products being offered by companies like this are most attractive to the poorest and most vulnerable people in society, which ironically are the very people who can least afford to pay back the extortionate interest repayments.”
The legal high-cost lending market in Leeds is believed to be worth in the region of £90m per year.
The authority is set to join forces with Leeds City Credit Union to work in communities to help reduce dependency on high-cost lenders.
Council officers could also work with sports clubs in Leeds to warn about the impact of high-cost lending and a review is underway examining the city’s advice provision. WHAT DO YOU THINK? Click here to register and have your say on the stories and issues that matter to you