Said the foyle MP: “As more and more of our shopping is done online, many people in Derry will be seeing attractive offers to help spread payments on items over weeks and months instead of paying one lump sum at the time.
“Whilst this may seem attractive to many after Christmas, it’s important people know what exactly is happening.
“Buy Now Pay Later companies don’t charge interest, but charge retailers to use their service, with the promise that customers spend more when using their service.
“I have spoken to constituents who, when buying presents online before Christmas, were bombarded with offers of Buy now, pay later.
“This might seem like a lifesaver for some as we struggle through this pandemic, but it can be dangerous.
“Worryingly, these companies do not have to abide by Financial Conduct Authority rules, and there is growing evidence of the harm that their practices are causing to consumers who are getting into debt.
“For decades, Derry has struggled with poverty, inequality and regional imbalance.
“That’s why many, including John Hume, founded Credit Unions to keep people away from being saddled with unmanageable debt.
“In the past, we’ve witnessed the rise and decline of payday loans and the dangers they present.
“These Buy Now Pay Later providers don’t have to run the same thorough checks needed in the same way if you were to apply for a credit card, overdraft or loan.
“Because these companies are unregulated, it makes it impossible to hold them to account should you have an issue.
“I am happy to support this amendment New Clause 7 to the Financial Services Bill, which will require these companies to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
“We must ensure that those who are more vulnerable or more likely to get into unmanageable debt are protected from these companies.”