Throughout the day participants made posters and commented on those made by others. From the very beginning it was clear that there was a high degree of technical and expert knowledge in the room and using posters provided a visual way of representations of the key issues and topics the formed out agenda for the day.

Poster: Can’t Bite the Hand that Feeds you

tumblr_inline_n5lx8sobDN1sg46ltA key issues of payday lending is how and where to focus reform efforts. This poster demonstrates the major problem faced with Local Authorities who sale advert space on everything from pay points to back of bus tickets—when payday lenders buy this space it means that asking for reform or simply enforcing regulatory standards on payday lenders is tantamount to “biting the hand that feeds you”.

Comments offered by participants demonstrate the rich diversity of expertise available:

  • some positive examples of Los Angeles banning payday advertising, also Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Plymouth
  • Can put pressure on Ad companies to insure regulatory compliance, local authorities of little space by comparison to all payday lending adverts
  • Can these responses lead to social change?
  • UK local authorities most centralised in Western Europe: devolve settlement, tax and spend, policy making powers
  • Governments can raise money by increasing taxes (i.e. revalue tax bands to reflect housing bubble), in this case could tax payday lenders instead of selling them advert space
  • Councils and Housing Associations been financialised (Barclays, RBS) this is a debt time bomb
  • Councils now reliant on neoliberal slash and burn outsourcing to merchants (KPMG) now Welfare Delivery in question from 2018
  • How do we/Councils deliver infrastructure —> Private Finance Initiative (PFI): hollowing out, no control, privatization
  • Capita Section of Arlingclose advise councils on social and environmental impacts are irrelevant to how they manage the £180 billion pound pension fund and £35 billion Treasury Fund
  • Credit Unions are not panacea for payday, crowd funding, P2P, public banks, Co-ops: we need to anchor wealth and jobs locally!
  • ABCUL policy to upgrade Credit Unions into larger providers (Gould policy)

First published May 2014