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A friend of mine was recently preparing to leave the army, and began a training course for a debt recovery agency. He was horrified that the trainees were taught not to waste too much time on people who could stick up for themselves, but to concentrate on the vulnerable who could easily be intimidated, such as the elderly or single mums, from whom far more money could easily be found. He left the course, disgusted.
But the gap which the payday lenders exploit isn’t just a gap in the market. It’s a gap in our collective self discipline. We’re still a society hopelessly hooked on a spendthrift lifestyle. We see something glitzy, we want it, and we want it now, really not paying close enough attention to how on earth we’re going to pay the borrowed money back. The financial crisis that is crushing us at the moment wasn’t simply caused by the banks being feckless lenders: we were all too happy to be feckless borrowers. The banks are now being more careful – perhaps overly so with business ventures – but payday lending still lets people get stuff they can’t afford. Even if one has paid back a loan, there remains the constant text pestering for another: “There is £££ ready for you, just call 0800 XXX XXX and it will be in your account in 15 minutes.” As another friend told me, if you’re struggling, it can be just too hard to resist.
So, Justin Welby, the recently appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, has decided to do something about it....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Personal Finance The Banking System/Sector * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
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