Treasurer Asks NC Pension Managers To Check For Payday Lenders

State Treasurer Richard Moore's office is asking firms that manage state pension funds to make sure they don't hold stock in payday lending companies.

The Charlotte Observer reported this week that the pension fund last year may have invested nearly 11 million dollars in as many as five payday lending companies. That's as Moore was criticizing the companies.

The newspaper reported Friday that the pension fund's chief investment officer wrote to the state's outside managers this week, asking them to sell shares in any such firms. The order applies to funds that pick their own stocks, not those that follow a certain index such as the S-and-P 500.

Moore criticized the payday lenders last year for giving short term loans with the equivalent of annual interest rates of more than 500 percent.

This week, Moore's office said the pension fund sold its shares in four of the payday lending companies identified by the Observer and were reviewing the fifth.