By Claire West

For the first time tomorrow (1st July) government Ministers and regulators will meet with payday lenders and consumer groups to discuss concerns about payday lending.

Consumer Minister Jo Swinson will chair a panel with: Economic Secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid, Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud, Office of Fair Trading Chief Executive Clive Maxwell and Financial Conduct Authority Chief Executive Martin Wheatley.

The summit will also be attended by consumer group organisations including Which?

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

“Payday lending is rife with poor practice yet people are increasingly turning to this very high cost credit to cover essentials or pay off existing debts. This is a market where lenders are not competing fairly with each other on price but instead use speed and ease of access to entice customers into deals they cannot afford, so it is right to get the Competition Commission to investigate.

“People under financial pressure being given high cost loans in minutes without proper affordability checks is a recipe for disaster. This referral doesn’t mean the OFT can now stand down, it needs to stay tough with lenders and continue to take early enforcement action against any company found to be lending irresponsibly.”