Community groups can help with loans

Operating Room''Accident and Emergency, A+E, A&E, Hospital.
Operating Room''Accident and Emergency, A+E, A&E, Hospital.

I welcome Government action via the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to stamp out the massive % interest charges and reprehensible practices from payday loan firms.

However, there will always be a need for loan facilities for those who find it difficult to access the banks, building society type lenders.

NI Assembly, local Councils and charitable groups allocate funding towards providing a service to those who get into serious debt. There is a great need for this service and this help is welcome. However, it is to find a solution to a current debt problem and usually after much distress on the part of the debtor.

On the other hand, Government could do more to further encourage and support the mutual society/credit union type movement to increase their neighbourhood presence. Building a stronger network of these valuable community organisations would open a door for those who need a financial loan.

The dilemma of debt is a growing problem with major sociatial implications. A failure to effectively address it will see the most vulnerable in our society remain easy prey for the payday loan companies or the doorstep loan sharks.

Robin Newton MBE, DUP MLA

East Belfast