Russell Hamblin-Boone, Consumer Finance Association CEO said:
“It is surprising that Islington Council has made judgements, which appear to be based on political point scoring and electioneering rather than actually representing the needs of its residents. Eight stores in London’s most populated borough represents a very small number of the businesses, so is hardly a proliferation. As well as loans the stores provide currency exchange, money transfer, gold buying, pawnbroking and retail sales. The Council’s decision is anti-competitive and it overlooks the fact that lenders are tightly regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, subject to a price cap and carry-out stringent affordability checks before issuing a loan. On average only 8 per cent of loans are approved.
“We hope that when it comes to planning decisions, the committee members will be less influenced by such political posturing and more focused on the evidence of any impact on the community.”