Tell the OFT; Don’t delay, cap the costs of credit today!

Tonight Parliament has approved laws to give the new Financial Conduct Authority the ability to cap the costs of credit when it takes over regulation of this market in 2014. In order to close the window of opportunity for legal loan sharks, we need your assistance in making sure these changes come into force as quickly as possible to help those struggling financially in Britain now.
  • what price of credit to consumers should be considered irresponsible and so unacceptable by maximum duration and total cost
  • requirements for all lenders to report all loans made upon their provision to a real time credit register
  • reform of the use of continuous payment authorities to prevent further fraud and debt
These changes could then form the basis of the FCA’s new regulation of this industry and for companies that break these rules to lose their license to operate in the UK. As energy bills and travel costs continue to rise, it is vital we close the window of opportunity that will exist until the FCA takes over regulation for legal loan sharks. Tough measures from the OFT could help ensure they do not have a further year to prey on British consumers who will struggle to make ends meet in 2013. In the debate today in parliament Ministers avoided this question.
Please help change this by writing to your MP and asking them to raise these matters with the OFT and to call for action from ministers ahead of the FCA taking over these matters in 2014. You can find contact details for your MP here and below is a suggested text to use. If you receive a positive response from your MP please do let us know.
This campaign showed we can make a difference when we work together- as reports show these companies continue to target vulnerable consumers in Britain we must be vigilant in keeping up the fight to end legal loan sharking in 2013! 
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Suggested text to use to write to your MP…

I’m writing to you as your consituent to ask you to ensure that the Office of Fair Trading acts to support the plans approved by parliament for caps on the costs of credit by introducing guidelines on the acceptable costs of credit and use of credit registers in 2013. 
I am delighted that Parliament has approved in principle powers for the new Financial Conduct Authority to cap the costs of credit- and concerned that this may not come into effect until 2014 at the earliest. With millions in our country already struggling financially due to the rising cost of living and unemployment or wage freezes and further increases in the costs of energy, travel and food on the way, with out action in 2013 this could provide a window of opportunity for legal loan sharks to further prey on British consumers. 
The Office of Fair Trading has pledged to bring in proposals for further action on high cost credit in the New Year- I would like to ask you as my MP to write to them and urge them to redraft the guidance on irresponsible lending to reflect the new laws passed by Parliament. Specifically I would like you to ask them to require this code to include the following details 
  • what price of credit to consumers should be considered irresponsible and so unacceptable by maximum duration and total cost
  • requirements for all lenders to report all loans made upon their provision to a real time credit register 
  • reform of the use of continuous payment authorities to prevent further fraud and debt 

Please also ask them to commit to a robust and active monitoring of whether these companies abide by these proposals ahead of the introduction of the new FCA and to commit to reporting back on the outcomes of this to parliament by the end of the current session. Please also copy your correspondence to the Government ministers responsible for this matter at both the Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills so they know of your concerns. I would welcome confirmation from you that you support these measures, have taken these actions and a copy of any correspondence you receive from the OFT or Ministers on this matter that I may share with the ”sharkstoppers campaign”. 
Thank you for your assistance with ensuring that 2013 is the year Britain ends legal loan sharking in our communities. 

Yours Sincerely,”