CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES is urging constituents with financial problems to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau rather than go to money-making loan firms.
Payday lender Wonga has revealed it made more than a million pounds a week last year, reporting a pre-tax profit of £84.5m for 2012 after lending £1.2bn in total.
Mr Skates said many loan firms target people who cannot borrow from a High Street bank – and he wants those struggling to know there is somewhere else they can turn.
“Sadly, due to benefit cuts and other economic pressures people are facing at the moment, many find themselves struggling to make ends meet,” he said.
“Some might feel there is nowhere else to turn, but there are always alternatives to using loan firms whose crippling payback rates often make their problems far worse.
“I would urge people who are having financial problems to call the CAB, as their volunteers can provide a lifeline by offering valuable help and support. They will also be happy to give advice on how to try and avoid similar problems in the future.”
Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: “Payday lenders’ profits come directly from the pockets of consumers, many of whom turn to them out of desperation rather than choice.
“Our evidence shows persistent, deep-rooted problems with the way payday lenders treat their customers, so we want to see lenders’ focus shift from increasing profits even further to looking at how they can tackle their customers’ complaints and become more responsible.”
Mr Skates added: “The North Wales Credit Union is also another option available to people in the area – they do not operate to make a profit and are a far more viable option for affordable credit than unscrupulous payday lenders.”
To contact the CAB in Wrexham, call 0844 477 2020. For Denbighshire, call 01745 334568, and for the North Wales Credit Union call 0333 2000 601.