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Southwark Labour and local campaigners fight back against payday loans with calls for Credit Union


16 December 2014
Walworth Road Credit Union Southwark Labour councillors joined local campaigners from across Southwark and representatives of the Church for a “day of action” on the Walworth Road to raise awareness of the dangers of payday lenders. 

The Walworth Road has one of the highest concentrations of payday lenders, pawn brokers and betting shops in the country – contributing to widespread financial challenges in the area – and with Christmas fast approaching the campaigners sought to highlight the perils of high-interest loans and better alternatives available.

The protest, which was joined by members of the public and included a stall on East St Market and pickets outside payday branches, called for a branch of the London Mutual Credit Union to open on the Walworth Road: offering better, fairer financial support for local residents.

The campaign now has cross-party support and Southwark’s Labour Council is assisting London Mutual Credit Union in their search for suitable premises on the Walworth Road - with momentum building it is hoped the new site will be established in the New Year.

Councillor Stephanie Cryan, Southwark Council's Deputy Cabinet Member for Financial Inclusion, said:

“Our high streets should serve our communities and today was a fantastic example of the residents of Walworth coming together to say enough is enough to payday lenders. We will be working closely with the community in Walworth to help provide a Credit Union on Walworth Road. 

“The policies of the Coalition Government have meant that more people in Southwark are in financial hardship and often have to resort to high interest loans which they are unable to afford. A Credit Union would provide an option for fair finance to the most financially excluded members of our communities.”

Father Andrew Moughtin-Mumby, Rector of St Peter's, Walworth said: 


"Today was a great step forward for financial well-being for our community here in Walworth. It was great to have people giving out information about the dangers of payday loans, and helping people make good choices about joining a credit union or getting help with money. But even better was the response from people in Walworth who really do want a credit union here.

“I hope this will make at least some people's Christmas a better celebration this year, and maybe even cancel some money worries. The big message is: if you're in trouble, get some help, but don't go to a payday loan shop."


 


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