HC Deb 01 February 1967 vol 740 c505
45. Mr. St. John-Stevas

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will introduce legislation to regulate the business of loan companies and mortgage brokers.

Mr. Jay

I have no present intention or, proposing such legislation.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Has not the President of the Board of Trade read the recent revelations in the News of the World about the disreputable activities of loan sharks charging effective interest rates of 27 per cent, and making off with people's deposits? Since the Government created the conditions of freeze in which these sharks flourish, are they not under a moral obligation to regulate their activities?

Mr. Jay

I have not read the News of the World recently, but we shall, no doubt, he discussing this point in some detail in discussions on the Companies Bill, and I cannot go into it now.

Mr. Winnick

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the great deal of genuine concern among the public about some of the dubious mortgage and loan firms which have mushroomed in recent years? Does he agree that the Davies Investment Company is not one on its own, but that a number of others are operating on more or less the same lines?

Mr. Jay

I would not like to make a statement about unnamed companies, but I agree that the whole of this matter requires examination.