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SVP concerned over moneylender issuing vouchers instead of cash

Provident Personal Credit, Ireland’s largest regulated moneylender, has started issuing One4all gift vouchers to some borrowers.

Image: One4All

THE SOCIETY OF St Vincent de Paul (SVP) is concerned that a moneylending company has now started offering people vouchers instead of cash.

Provident Personal Credit (PPC), Ireland’s largest regulated moneylender, has added One4all gift vouchers “as an alternative to cash”, however, similar high-interest rates apply.

The SVP say the vouchers limit choice to the customer as they cannot be used in all shops and have described the “selling tactic as unsavoury”.

A spokesperson for PPC told TheJournal.ie that the One4all gift vouchers are offered as “an additional choice” to the customer and that the interest on vouchers is less than cash:

The all-in cost of the vouchers for a 50-week loan period is €50 for every €100 borrowed, 143.1 per cent APR. While, the all-in cost for a cash loan over 52 weeks is €56 for every €100 borrowed, 157.3 per cent APR.

“As austerity deepens, the use of licenced moneylenders is growing,” said said John-Mark McCafferty SVP, head of social justice and policy. “The poorest pay more for these loans than those of us who can access Credit Union loans or similar. The interest rates associated with moneylenders are high and what appears as easy money up front turns into a significant financial burden in the longer term.”

“One4all gift vouchers is an arm of An Post. At a time of real financial pressure for many, we do not believe An Post should be involved in such an unsavoury arrangement with a moneylender,” McCafferty added.

The SVP have also warned about a potential money lending crisis in Ireland and called on the Central Bank to publish baseline data “to take money lending out of the shadows”.

PPC on Panorama

PPC in the UK came under criticism last year after a BBC Panorama investigation found that it had loaned thousands of pounds to a women with a mental illness.

Provident said in a statement at the time it makes every effort to ensure borrowers are capable of making informed decisions.

However, the Citizens Advice Bureau in the UK accused the firm of lacking social responsibility.

Related: St Vincent de Paul warns of ‘potential money lending crisis’>
Explainer: What are the rules that govern legal moneylenders?>

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Amy Croffey

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