Doostep lenders such as Provident Financial and Cattles have been ordered to share customer information to improve competition, reports the Telegraph .
The paper says the Competition Commission found such firms had overcharged borrowers by about £100m a year, and also told small loan providers, who typically collect instalments in monthy door-to-door visits, to make loans easier to compare by providing clearer statements.
The competition watchdog wants better information "to increase customers' sensitivity to prices (by enabling them to make comparisons between loans) and stimulate price competition between providers".
The market provides small loans of usually less than £300 to people on low incomes in what is now a £2bn-a-year market with about 3m borrowers.
Some 10% of people in Britain are believed to have used a home credit loan at least once.
The National Consumer Council, which brought the original "super-complaint" to the competition regulator two years ago, has claimed that annual interest is high - averaging 177%.
However, Provident Financial, the largest home credit loan provider with half the market, argued that after administration and other charges, its loans were little more expensive than the average overdraft.
Other remedies being proposed include increasing the early settlement rebate to reduce the price paid by customers when they repay their loans early. It is also considering the use of a price cap.
There are 500 operators in the market, but the four largest firms control 70% of all business. The NCC has described the investigation as a "highly significant breakthrough for at least 2m people on low incomes".
UNDERLYING net mortgage lending rose in July, British Bankers' Association data showed on Friday, supporting other surveys depicting a robust housing market before this month's surprise interest rate hike, reports the Scotsman.
The paper says net mortgage lending rose by £5.7bn, up from £5.6bn in June and matching May's two-year high. That took it above the average £5.3bn increase over the last six months.
"The robust nature of mortgage lending continues, with recent monthly net increases not far short of the movements seen when lending peaked in 2003/4," BBA Director of Statistics David Dooks said.
The figures back up other housing market surveys which depict a robust market with rising prices, demand and sales.
However, there is some concern that a lack of affordability for first-time buyers and this month's shock interest rate hike will cool demand.
The BBA said underlying credit card lending fell by £319m, compared with a £268m fall in June. Consumer credit rose by rose £307m overall.
The Building Societies Association said in a separate release that mortgage approvals rose to a seasonally adjusted £5.035bn in July from just under £5bn in June - the highest July figure on record.
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