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The ResPublica Fringe at Liberal Democrat Party Conference

23rd September 2013

  • ResPublica

Successful ResPublica fringe in Glasgow

ResPublica hosted a successful fringe programme at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow. Our event, a panel discussion co-hosted with the Consumer Finance Association (CFA) posed the question: ‘Are payday loans ever in the consumer interest?’ The debate took place in the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow and was chaired by Stephen Knight AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member.

Lead speaker on the panel Jo Swinson MP, Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs, admitted that payday loans represent a viable solution to short-term cashflow issues for several categories of people, but stressed the importance of regulation and transparency. Her remarks were echoed by Joanna Elson OBE, Chief Executive of Money Advice Trust who additionally made the case for proper availability of information and education so that potential consumers are fully aware of the implications before taking out a loan. Rebecca Taylor MEP, Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber gave the panel an insight into European policy and offered examples from EU member states on regulating payday loans, while Russell Hamblin-Boone, Chief Executive of the CFA argued that ethical practitioners and sensible regulation will ensure that both the supply and demand side of short-term lending.

A summary of the event and a round-up of ResPublica’s Lorena Papamanci’s reflections is available here.

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