The Central Bank has found that out of nine moneylenders inspected, a number were giving out multiple loans before the initial loan was paid off, creating a vicious circle of debt for hard-pressed householders.
The Central Bank revealed it had discovered “some serious issues in a small number of firms” and these breaches were being pursued individually, according to the head of consumer protection at the bank, Bernard Sheridan
“We also found cases where some consumers were provided with new loans before existing loans were repaid in full which is not necessarily in the consumers’ best interests. Using short-term, high cost loans for longer-term needs should be avoided and I would encourage consumers in such a situation to contact MABS for help and advice,” he remarked.
The Galway branch of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) recently warned against using moneylenders after it emerged that one firm had been dropping advertising leaflets into houses in the city. With legal money lenders charging interest rates of up to 187% – and illegal moneylenders reportedly charging rates in excess of 300% – resorting to a loan through this channel can lead to an impossible debt burden.
“What our members are telling us – including members in Galway – is that these companies are offering second and third loans and they’re even getting a second person in the house to sign up to a loan. Suddenly a household that’s struggling with bills and food has to come up with these repayments to a moneylender,” explained SVP spokesman Jim Walsh.
“When people go to a moneylender it’s usually for a specific thing – they might have to meet funeral expenses, they might need a new washing machine. They don’t think about what they have to pay back. They only think about what they need. They don’t realise what they’re getting into. It’s not like a bank who won’t chase you for further loans.”
The SVP insists that the number of people taking loans from moneylenders was rising in the current recession, made worse by an increasing succession of charges and higher household costs. They point to the increase in advertising by these companies and this practice of doing leaflet drops.
However the Central Bank said the increase among licensed moneylenders was only slight. They did, however, reveal for the first time there were 300,000 customers currently in debt to the 43 licensed moneylenders.
For more on this, see the current issue of the Galway City Tribune
Connacht Tribune tributes to loved ones
These past few months have seen so many communities left to silently mourn family members and friends, whose funerals they would have attended in such numbers, were it not for the current Covid-19 restrictions.
But those that are gone have not been, and will not be, forgotten – which is why we want to open the pages of the Connacht Tribune to you to tell their stories.
If you’ve lost a loved one, whether to Covid-19 or not, or if your community or organization or sports club is mourning the death of a valued member and friend, you can email us your tribute and we will publish it in our papers.
All you have to do it to click on the above link, and it will take you to a short set of questions which you can fill in – and then add whatever you feel tells the story of the life of your friend, family member or colleague.
You can email that with a photograph to us, to email@example.com or you can post it to ‘Obituaries’, Connacht Tribune, 21 Liosban Business Park – and please enclose a contact number in case we have any queries.
We sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one at this awful time, particularly given that so many people were unable to mourn with them and their family in person – and we hope that this will help in some small way to show those family members that we are all united in grief, even from a distance.
This is an additional feature we are providing alongside our long-established weekly Family Notices section where loved ones are remembered immediately by Months Mind Notices and annual anniversary remembrances. You can contact our team for further details at firstname.lastname@example.org
WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!
Father and son rescue team Patrick and Morgan Oliver were back in action in Salthill this morning, when they helped a swimmer who got into difficulty.
A member of the public raised the alarm at around 10.30am and the Coastguard sought the assistance of Galway Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks.
Two members of the lifeboat shore crew made their way to the promenade to assist in the rescue.
Patrick and Morgan Oliver were fishing off Salthill at the time and spotted the man taking refuge on Palmers Rock about 200 metres from Salthill shore. They took him on board their fishing boat and brought him back to Galway Docks. Galway Lifeboat in the meantime was stood down.
The man was taken into the Lifeboat station where he received treatment for symptoms of hypothermia until an ambulance arrived.
Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It will take time and a lot of money, but the city’s network of major transport projects will proceed on schedule – that was the assurance given this week to councillors by City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.
Councillors had expressed concerns at their meeting on Monday about the slow rate of progress being made with major capital projects including two new pedestrian bridges over the River Corrib.
However, Brendan McGrath told the meeting that the timelines for the range of capital transport projects – while challenging – were reasonable, pragmatic and achievable.
“All of the projects are moving forward but we must adhere to all the procedures and the different stages that have to be complied with: we have no choice in that,” said Brendan McGrath.
Senior City Council Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, in reply to a number of queries about potential new bus routes, said that while the Council worked closely with Bus Éireann and the bus companies, the local authority didn’t decide on the routes.
Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Peter Keane (FF), asked ‘how it could take 63 months’ to deliver a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Corrib even though the piers (old Corrib Railway Line) were already in place for the project.
“How can it take over five years to put a bridge like this over the Corrib,” he asked, after hearing that this €11 million Greenways-linked project would not be completed until 2026.
There is a snappier timescale for the Salmon Weir Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge – to be located adjacent to the existing structure on the southern side – with planning consent expected by next Summer and a completion date set for the end of 2022.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.