Money lenders in Ireland taking advantage of the Covid-19 crisis have been accused of “outrageous opportunism”.
Leaflets were dropped at the home of the president of the philanthropic organisation the Society of St Vincent de Paul.
Kieran Stafford said: “I was outraged when one of the leaflets was dropped into my own home last weekend. You just have to question the timing of these leaflet drops.
“Everybody in the community is putting their shoulder to the wheel. There has been such a surge of people pulling together but unfortunately, we fear money lenders will end up targeting people who will just not be able to repay loans at the exorbitant interest rates they are charging.
“It appears to be outrageous opportunism seeking to exploit vulnerable people during the coronavirus.”
There are an estimated 330,000 customers of money lenders in Ireland.
The Society has frequently called for a statutory maximum cost of credit which can be charged by a money lender, and said consumers should have better access to sources of low-cost credit.
The organisation also commended the measures implemented by utility companies.
They have suspended disconnections and pay-as-you-go gas customers will have emergency credit of 100 euro.