Stevenage Homes rapped by watchdog

The company that manages Stevenage Borough Council’s housing stock has been reprimanded by an advertising watchdog for ‘misleading’ residents about a loan company.

Stevenage Homes has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority for producing a leaflet that suggested Money Shop, which has a branch in Market Place, is a doorstep lender and loan shark. The company in fact offers month-long pay day loans, which the ASA said comes under neither category.

The authority said the leaflet could leave readers with the impression that Money Shop is an “unlicensed money lender who might use aggressive or threatening tactics in the conduct of its business.”

It ordered Stevenage Homes not to distribute the leaflet in its current form, and to ensure it describes businesses accurately in the future.

Lorraine O’Brien, chief executive of the arms length management organisation, said: “Stevenage Homes has been very successful in informing our customers about the high cost of using doorstep lenders and pay day loan companies. We recognise that the Money Shop do not make door step loans and regret that they felt the need to complain.

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“We will continue to educate our tenants about the different forms of credit available as this is an activity that they value.”

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