Plea over payday loans after Leeds student's suicide

A CORONER was urged to ask a financial watchdog what more can be done to prevent pay day loan companies granting unaffordable loans after an inquest head a Leeds Beckett University student with debt worries was found hanged.

Coroner Jonathan Leach was asked to consider writing to the Financial Conduct Authority after he recorded a suicide verdict at an inquest into the death of 21-year-old human geography student Naseeb Chuhan.

The inquest heard Naseeb, who had taken out a series of payday loans and was behind with his studies, was found hanged at a flat in Belle Vue Road, Hyde Park, on May 28 last year.

Julie-Anne Luck, barrister for Naseeb’s family, asked coroner Jonathan Leach to send a ‘regulation 28’ report – requesting action is taken to prevent future deaths – to the Financial Conduct Authority.

Miss Luck said to the coroner: “He succumbed to these easily accessible payday loans.

“It seems the behaviour and conduct of the payday loan companies was such that he was able to access loans where they were not affordable.

“Perhaps troubled by his mental health, he has not seen a way out has seen a solution in suicide.”

She added: “He starts off taking out the loans in a relatively innocent way and he became dependent on these loans, they escalated with interest accruing in excess of 1,200 per cent.

“I would invite you to ask the Financial Conduct Authority what more can be done to make sure unaffordable loans can not be granted.”

Mr Leach said he would consider Miss Luck’s request.

Priscilla Preston director of services for students at Leeds Beckett University, had told the inquest she was aware of payday loan companies targeting the student population.

The inquest heard after Christmas 2015 Naseeb had failed to hand in university course work and did not attend an exam or resit.