Ed and campaigners in Mexborough town centre
Ed and campaigners in Mexborough town centre

This week, Ed renewed his campaign against the exorbitant interest rates charged by retailers such as Brighthouse.

On Saturday, Ed and local campaigners held an action day outside Brighthouse in Mexborough, warning locals about the dangers of taking out a loan with Brighthouse and encouraging them to join a credit union instead.

A customer taking out a loan from Brighthouse can expect to pay APR of 149%. In comparison, the customer could expect to pay APR of 42.4% with a credit union.

Ed Miliband said:

“Expensive loans are the latest rip-off from the rent to own sector, fleecing often vulnerable members of the public out of their valuable money. We changed the law to make it harder for Brighthouse to take people for a ride by charging way over the odds for white goods. Now they are offering loans with sky high interest rates.

I strongly urge people not to go for these loans when they could get a much better deal from their credit union. We are out campaigning so people know the facts. I would strongly encourage everyone to join their local credit union.”

In 2017, Ed led a successful local campaign against the interest rates charged by the rent to own sector. This led to the Financial Conduct Authority introducing 100 per cent credit cap this year. The FCA also introduced a requirement on firms to benchmark base prices against the prices charged by 3 mainstream retailers, and prevented firms increasing their prices for insurance, extended warranties, or arrears charges, to recoup lost revenue from the price cap.

Ed attended the formal launch of Community First Savings and Loan’s outreach service at Moorends Miners’ Welfare & Community Development Centre on Friday. The partnership between the community centre and credit union will mean that local residents have access to affordable loans, assistance with budgeting and savings accounts with competitive interest rates.

Susan Durant, who runs the Community Centre said:

“Community First offers a range of services, depending on individual circumstances. Six months away from Christmas, this is the perfect time to sign up and start saving. Alternatively, if you’re having trouble budgeting or with debt, you may want to come and learn about Community First’s Save through Pay scheme.”

Gary Simpson, the Chief Executive of Community First said:

“At Community First Credit Union, we must not only deliver 21st Century fit for purpose services but also direct support and more importantly hope for individuals, their families, their community. We are so excited to be working in partnership with Susan and her team in Moorends. By working together with people that want to make it work then things can and will happen here.”

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