A website to help people steer clear of payday lenders has been set up by Leeds City Council.

The authority is using the website as part of its fight against the payday loan industry as news that the level of borrowing from payday lenders in the UK has shot up by four-fifths in the last year. The new website – leedsmic.org.uk – part of the council’s Take a Stand campaign, will help people find free independent, financial and debt advice and more affordable credit facilities.

Council leader Keith Wakefield said: “In Leeds we are proud of our growing city, but there are increasingly more vulnerable people struggling to pay for everyday expenses and we are concerned about the impact high-cost lenders are having on our residents and local economy.”