Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Comforting the Loan-Sharked Brethren

From The New York Times-

Britain’s new archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, is inviting the humblest of money lenders, credit unions, into the temple. His aim is to undercut the “payday lender” industry that routinely and notoriously charges usurious interest rates to the working poor, and is now the subject of national scandal.

“We’re trying to compete you out of existence,” Archbishop Welby told a ranking executive of the payday industry, which is under government investigation for charging borrowers what amount to loan-shark rates of interest compounding to as high as 5,000 percent a year.

The Anglican leader knows whereof he speaks. He is a former financial executive from the oil industry who is a member of the government’s banking commission. He arrived as an outspoken prelate who wasted no time in announcing that some 500 credit unions with drastically lower interest rates could use the church’s 16,000 properties to set up shop as rivals to the booming payday lenders. The initiative may take time because the credit union system is relatively undeveloped in Britain. But it is hard to doubt the archbishop’s refreshing resolve.

More here-


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