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The UK needs a "capital injection" to tackle the reliance on payday loans, a think tank has said.
Mat Lawrence, one of the report's authors, said the payday loan industry had grown "in large part" to lend to households High Street banks had been unwilling to give credit to.
A £450 million one-off levy on the payday loans industry should be used to create a "new generation" of affordable lenders to take on Britain's legal loan sharks, a leading think tank has said.
A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) called for a levy to be used to compensate for the "direct financial harm" caused by the £180 billion consumer credit market.
Revenue from the levy would then be used to mobilise not-for-profit institutions to compete with firms such as Wonga, Quick Quid and Payday Express.
Not-for-profits and credit unions could be hosted by the Post Office, and lend "small amounts at affordable rates to ordinary people", the report said.
UK households collectively owe nearly £160 billion in unsecured consumer credit, with low-income households "vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous firms".