Britain bites back in the fight against loan sharks!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Today, Government has announced funding towards the fight against loan sharks. 

In total, £5.67 million of funding will be provided to Britain’s Illegal Money Lending Teams (IMLT) and equivalent bodies in Northern Ireland to tackle illegal lending - a 16% increase compared to the previous year. The money will be used to investigate and prosecute illegal lenders, and to support those who have been the victim of a loan shark.

Since the Illegal Money Lending Team was established in England in 2004, they’ve made over 380 prosecutions, leading to 328 years’ worth of sentences, and have written off over £73 million of illegal debt, helping over 28,000 people to escape the jaws of the loan sharks. Similar teams operate in Scotland and Wales.

Chris Smyth, Chief Executive of Leeds Credit Union welcomed this news:

“Leeds Credit Union already works closely with the Government's Illegal Money Lending team to stamp out loan sharks in the Leeds region. We are pleased that, in making their announcement, the Government recognises the valuable role of credit unions in providing affordable loans that are an important alternative to illegal and high cost loans” 

Leeds Credit Union has already used funds from the money seized from loan sharks to encourage people to join and is happy that this fund is being boosted further. In 2017, Leeds Credit Union was part of an incentive scheme where £25 was offered to people upon opening a Christmas Club account.