Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill — Report (1st Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:15 pm on 26th November 2013.

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Photo of Lord Watson of Invergowrie Lord Watson of Invergowrie Labour 9:15 pm, 26th November 2013

My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Selsdon, makes an interesting and important point about those people who are in the situation where they see this as a last resort for receiving credit. If any noble Lords were watching “Newsnight” yesterday evening, they would have seen a disturbing feature concerning Wonga; the noble Lord, Lord Selsdon, did not want to name companies, but this company was named in the programme. It turned out that people who had had loans from Wonga, and had then gone to try to get a mortgage, had been told by their financial adviser, or by the mortgage company, that they were not going to get a mortgage simply because they had had a loan. I am sure that would apply to any payday loan company.

It seems perfectly wrong that somebody who takes out that kind of loan and pays it back within the defined period at no additional cost and without extending it or anything—in other words, someone who has done nothing wrong or outwith the agreement—is then penalised. It seems that this stain on their record remains for six years. It seems fundamental that any payday loan company ought to be saying on its website, or telling people over the telephone, “Yes, we are happy to give you this money, but we have to tell you that some mortgage companies and some lenders will not lend to you for a period of six years simply because you have taken this loan”. This seems to be a nefarious practice, and it also seems quite wrong that those companies are not obliged to state unequivocally and perfectly clearly that this could be the case.