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Tag Archive: #loansharks

  1. Stop Loan Sharks Week 2024.

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    Stop Loan Sharks Week 2024.

    Although the problems caused by loan sharks are well known, the most recent reports into the number of people turning to them for financial help have revealed that a staggering three million Britons have used their dubious services over the last 3+ years, indicating there is still much to be done to get them off our streets once and for all.

    Step forward the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) and its annual Stop Loan Sharks Week!

    Taking place between the 13th and 19th of May, Stop Loan Sharks Week is a scheme set up by IMLT to raise awareness of the existence of – and risks posed by – illegal money lenders, also known as loan sharks. It works by offering people advice on how to recognise the signs that someone might be involved with a loan shark, what to do about it and where to get help.

    Since 2004, the IMLT has helped more than 25,000 people stay safely away from loan sharks.

    What are loan sharks?

    Loan sharks work by lending money to people who are struggling to make ends meet and who may have been turned down for a loan from reputable sources like credit unions or banks. They promise to provide them with a quick and easy loan, only to apply sky-high APR rates, trapping their financially vulnerable victim in a cycle of debt and resorting to intimidation and violence until the loan – plus interest – is repaid in full.

    The IMLT works with local communities, educational facilities and the police to investigate and prosecute loan sharks, and offer support to those who owe them money. The IMLT is estimated to have written off more than £87 million worth of illegal debt since 2004, highlighting just how serious the issue is.

    To try and put a stop to this illegal activity once and for all, Stop Loan Sharks Week raises awareness of the help that is available to people who have been targeted by illegal money lenders by encouraging conversations among friends, families and communities. 

    What does LCU do to stop loan sharks?

    As a credit union, nothing is more important to us than looking after our members’ financial wellbeing. While we might not be out on the streets actively tracking loan sharks down to throw them behind bars, there are plenty of things we can do to stop them taking advantage of financially vulnerable individuals.

    For example, during the 2022/2023 financial year, we lent more than £8.275m to our members, helping them save more than £11m in high interest repayments that would otherwise have ended up in the hands of loan sharks, many of whom were maliciously targeting some of Leeds’ most financially vulnerable postcodes.

    We also work day-in and day-out to offer affordable loans, and access to savings accounts and money and budgeting advice to our members so that they never need to come into contact with loan sharks.

    Seeking help if you’re in debt.

    With the cost of living crisis driving more households into the grasp of illegal money lenders to help pay their bills, Stop Loan Sharks Week couldn’t have come at a better time.

    If you have borrowed from an illegal money lender or are worried about someone else who may have, you can contact the IMLT team 24/7 on 0300 555 2222 or fill out a secure online form here to report a loan shark.

    At Leeds Credit Union, our products and services can help you get your finances safely back on track and our friendly team is available to offer support and advice, whatever your circumstances. For more information or to get in touch, click here.

    And just in case anyone reading this thinks the issue of illegal money lenders is being exaggerated, a suspected loan shark was arrested in Leeds earlier this week! Read all about it here.

  2. Leeds Financial Wellbeing Week 2024.

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    Leeds Financial Wellbeing Week 2024.

    Taking place from Monday 19th – Friday 23rd February, Leeds Financial Wellbeing Week is a week-long programme of events designed to provide people with useful advice on a variety of money matters.

    Throughout the week, a series of webinars from participating organisations will provide information, tips and support on a host of money topics, with all sessions free to join. 

    With the cost of living crisis still showing no signs of stopping, we’re getting involved too, with a webinar of our own!

    An informative online event designed to help people make the most of their money, the Leeds Credit Union ‘Your Money Matters’ event will take place on Wednesday, February 14th, and will feature sessions on pensions and loan sharks.

    If you’ve ever wanted to know what pension options are available to you, how to plan for your retirement or why you should never turn to loan sharks then this is the webinar for you!

    To register your interest in attending, click here.

    If you have any questions or would like to know more about the Leeds Financial Wellbeing events, please email darren.crowe@leeds.gov.uk.