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Complaints against payday lenders have soared to a five year high, the industry watchdog has said. There were nearly 40,000 new complaints brought last year, up a "startling" 130% on the 17,000 the previous year, the Financial Ombudsman Service said. In too many cases people have been left to struggle with debt, it said. Short-term lender industry body the Consumer Finance Association (CFA) said most of the complaints dated back a number of years. COMPLAINT FLOOD. Most of the complaints were made about affordability. Some customers took out 20 to 30 loans in a short space of time, either to pay off other outstanding loans or for household bills. Many of the complaints came through claims management companies, the CFA said. Full story

15 May