Payday lending lobbyist on the way out after watchdog’s crackdown
Russell Hamblin-Boone is set to leave the Consumer Finance Association.
The top lobbyist defending Britain's payday lending industry is said to be leaving his post as chief executive of the Consumer Finance Association.
Russell Hamblin-Boone was recruited to the job five years ago, having previously been head of communications at the Finance & Leasing Association. He is also a former head of public affairs the British Retail Consortium.
The Consumer Finance Association is the principal trade association for the short-term credit industry. Its members include some of the most recognisable names in the industry, such as The Money Shop, Payday UK and QuickQuid. However arguably the most controversial of all the firms, Wonga, is not currently listed as a CFA member.
Hamblin-Boone’s imminent departure was revealed by Sky News. He is set to leave the CFF in the coming months following a radical regulatory shake-up that has hit the industry hard. The CFA declined to comment ahead of an announcement about the change of leadership.
In 2015, the Financial Conduct Authority unveiled stringent measures for operators that offer short-term, high-cost credit. The watchdog’s regulation of consumer credit included a cap on the total cost of a payday loan, after a number of lenders were found to be charging annual rates above 5,000 per cent.
Recent figures show that the number of payday loan users has dropped significantly since 2014. The number of people who have taken out a payday loan over an 18-month period has fallen by 800,000, after the FCA took over regulation of consumer credit and number of companies that offer payday loans has dropped from 400 to 144, according to the Financial Times.
Picture by: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/PA Images.