Brent and Camden pledge a crackdown on pay-day loan companies operating on Kilburn High Road

Cllr Sarah Hayward, leader of Camden Council, and Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, front

Cllr Sarah Hayward, leader of Camden Council, and Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, front, at meeting held last week - Credit: Archant

Council chiefs plan to promote credit unions as an alternative to high-interest borrowing

Brent and Camden councils have pledged to work together to crack down on high interest loan companies which operate on Kilburn High Road.

In a meeting with community representatives last weekg, the two borough leaders Cllr Muhammed Butt and Cllr Sarah Hayward stated their commitment to help residents access fair lending in the area by opening a credit union.

The initiative also includes establishing a community finance hub on Kilburn High Road where locals could get financial advice and take money management courses.

Cllr Butt, leader of Brent Council, said:” The meeting went very well. We agreed that we will try to provide residents with an alternative source of lending to pay-day loan companies, with far lower rates of borrowing.

“It is the start of a process protecting Brent residents.”

The project is run alongside Movement for Change community organisation which has been working on the issue of pay-day loan companies in Kilburn for the past few months.

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As part of the plans, Kilburn Fair Credit Campaign will meet with managers of financial advice and money management services in each borough, and work with them to try to reach those in the community who are facing financial hardship. They will file a progress report by April 9.

Alistair Thom, Vicar of St Luke’s Church Kilburn, said, “This is a moral issue which everyone should care about. If we can make credit fairer then we will have done a good thing”.

Jacky Peacock, Executive Director Brent Private Tenants’ Rights Group, said “This is a great first step on the path to making fair credit more accessible on the Kilburn High Road”.

Camden and Brent councils agreed to deliver a publicity campaign which highlights the risks of using pay day lenders, and promotes existing debt helplines, financial advice services and money management courses.