The numbers for 2014 are not out yet, but coming across the statistics for the payday lending industry for 2013 was definitely food for thought.
The payday industry has seen more “boom” than most other industries have seen in decades. Under the credit crunch, payday lenders did not suffer like many other businesses. These numbers might enlighten us as to why this market sector is flourishing when most British households teeter on a fine line between putting food on the table and abject poverty.
In 2013 there were:
- 3 payday companies that spoke for more than 50% of the market
- 4 payday companies that the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) was asked to shut down
- 5 companies that shut down after the OFT required them to follow regulation
- 11 (on average) payday shops and pawn brokers on one high street
- 15 minutes is what most of the prominent lenders take to deliver cash to its clients
- 25 pounds, on average is what it costs to borrow 100 pounds
- 80 is the number of loans that some people, who contacted the National Debtline, had taken out
- 240 payday companies were operational
- 270 pounds is the average loan amount. This is according to research by the OFT
- 550 is the highest amount of branches that one company opened
- 1657 pounds is how much clients of debt charities on average owe to payday lenders
- 7221 people approached StepChange debt charity owing on more than 5 loans
- 20013 calls were logged by National Debtline to do with payday loans
- 8.2 million loans were taken out in 2012
- 2.2 billion pounds is what the entire industry was worth at the beginning of 2013
These numbers may seem outrageous and shed a dismal light on the whole payday picture, but what they do in actual fact is raise one big great red flag. The question that begs to be asked is how did the economy manage to lower the country to a state in which 8.2 million loans were necessary to keep people afloat? Why do the citizens of Britain need to borrow 2.2 billion pounds? Can Ed Milliband or the Archbishop give us an answer perhaps?