4 Dec 2017

GreenSquare supports campaign to crackdown on loan sharks

GreenSquare is supporting the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), who is working with partner agencies across England to warn people of the dangers of borrowing from loan sharks in the run up to Christmas.

With the festive season fast approaching, the Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) is urging families to not borrow from loan sharks amid fears a small loan could lead to massive repayments in the New Year.

The IMLT – a national team that investigate and prosecute loan sharks – works closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), local Trading Standards and the Police to crackdown on illegal money lending.

A loan shark is someone who lends money without the correct permission from the Financial Conduct Authority. Loan sharks may initially appear friendly and act as though they’re offering a community service. This behaviour soon changes once monies are owed. Loan sharks will commonly resort to bullying tactics such as violence and intimidation to enforce repayment, causing borrowers endless misery.

The IMLT’s word of warning is: it’s not about what’s under the tree this Christmas but who’s around it – don’t let a loan shark be one of those people.

With an estimated 310,000 households in the UK borrowing from loan sharks every year, the team is warning people to avoid unauthorised lenders at all costs amid fears that illegal loans could result in hard up families repaying the lender into the New Year and beyond.

How to spot a loan shark this Christmas

A loan shark might:

  •  Offer little or no paperwork on a loan, such as a credit agreement or record of payments
  •  Refuse to give borrowers information, such as the interest rate or how much you owe
  •  Take items as security, such as passports, bank cards and driving licenses
  •  Increase the debt or add additional charges at any time
  •  Refuse to allow you to settle your debt
  •  Get nasty – they might use intimidation, threats or violence to enforce repayment

To report a loan shark:

Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text a report to 078600 22116
E-mail: reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk  
Private message IMLT on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject