THE chief executive of Barnsley Citizen's Advice Bureau has welcomed plans to tighten the rules for 'payday' loan lenders.

Pat Heath said the government's announcement to bring in stricter rules for high-cost, short-term lenders was long overdue.

Last year one Barnsley family ended up taking out 16 payday loans – with huge monthly repayments of £2,200.

The largest 50 payday loan firms now have 12 weeks to change their practices or risk losing their licences.

Mr Heath said: "Payday loans are proving to be toxic for many people in Barnsley and unscrupulous lenders are ramping up costs, particularly when customers cannot afford to repay and are emptying bank accounts to claw back loans, leaving people without a penny to their name."

The lenders are often said to give money without credit checks, so many people are given loans that they're realistically unable to pay back.