Conference launches major assault on high-cost lenders

A national conference being held in Leeds will see the launch of a major strategy to combat the impact of high cost lenders.

There is growing concern about the impact that high cost credit is having on many communities and households across the country. The conference will see the launch of an important awareness raising strategy which will attempt to warn people about the pitfalls of this form of credit, to advise about alternative banking services and promote the various advice services which are available to help people who find themselves suffering from unsustainable debt.

The conference has been very well supported from organisations all over the country. Over 220 delegates will attend the conference on 25 October in the Civic Hall in Leeds – but such has been the interest in the conference that many people have not managed to secure a place.

Representatives are attending from 35 cities around the country from as far afield as Fife in Scotland and Kent in the south. There will also be delegates from the UK Government and the Scottish Government

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, who will chair the conference said:

“Poverty is the biggest challenge our city is facing and one which we are tackling head on. The scourge of pay day lenders is forcing many of the most vulnerable people in our city into poverty by allowing them to taken on loans they can ill afford, with phenomenally high interest rates.

“We have organised this conference to call on as many people as possible to join us in tackling this issue and ensure that our message is spread far and wide. The conference is part of our city-wide strategy to get people out of poverty and we will also be formally launching our campaign against payday lenders at the conference.

“The 220 places filled up very quickly and attendees will not only leave with useful and practical information to take back to their workplaces, but we are also confident they will become ambassadors for our campaign.”

Notes to editors

1. A limited number of places have been reserved for representatives from media organisations which will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. Please contact the press office to organise attendance.

2. Further, more detailed information will be made available to the media on Thursday 24th October about details of the marketing campaign. This will be embargoed until the morning of the conference.

3. Confirmed speakers include:

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive, Citizens Advice

Mark Fisher CBE, Head of Social Justice, DWP

Bishop John Packer – Bishop of Ripon and Leeds

Gary Hetherington, Chief Executive Leeds Rugby


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk