Community groups across Hackney are collecting signatures for a petition to force Hackney Council to host a debate on payday lending adverts.
The petition has called for “better regulation of the payday lending sector, including a cap on the total cost of credit”, and for “all relevant bodies to do what they can to protect people from usurious lending”.
It is part of a wider campaign called Just Money, which aims to make financial institutions work for and with communities.
Any petition with 750 signatures is enough to trigger a debate in Hackney Council.
David Barclay, the lead organiser for the Just Money campaign, said: “We’ve been working on the big issue of introducing a cap on the total cost of credit, as most other developed countries have, so that these companies can’t charge the crazy interest rates that they currently do, anymore. But we also wanted to look locally.”
St John’s Church in Hoxton is one of the institutions involved in the petition.
Colleen Beasley, who has been helping collect signatures on behalf of the church, said: “One of the reasons for the Just Money campaign is to actually open up a dialogue within the community between people, so that people feel more comfortable talking about their financial worries and about debt issues, and where they actually go to resolve those issues.”
The petition also asks that, should Hackney Council decide to ban the advertising, representatives from the Council should contact the Mayor of London and the Commissioner of Transport for London, in a bid to encourage them to follow suit and ban adverts across the whole of London.