The Consumer Finance Association is a trade association which has as members several payday loan companies. They are saying that the international research agency, YouGov, has carried out on their behalf the biggest ever survey into the payday loan industry and the CFA say that the survey found that there is a big difference in how consumers and politicians view payday loans.
Over 90 percent of customers were happy with their payday loans and felt they were treated with dignity and respect while only 5 percent of politicians thought this was the case. Nearly 90 percent of customers were happy with the way charges and fees were explained but only 12 percent of policymakers thought this was so.
Payday loan firms frequently claim they get a bad press and that their worst critics are members of the elite who are never likely to use them and this survey seems to back their case. However, when you look at how the research was carried out it does not stand up to close scrutiny.
YouGov questioned 100 MPs, 100 members of the House of Lords and 100 councillors and members of the devolved assemblies. The 300 payday loan customers they questioned were all customers of The Money Shop, which is a highly reputable high street name and one of the biggest loan firms, so it is hardly surprising their customers are satisfied.
The survey might have given us a more realistic and therefore more representative view if it had questioned customers from some of the other 200 or so payday lenders in the UK. So it is fair to say that the survey is slightly misleading and doesn’t really give us a fair view of the payday loan business as a whole.