Stamping out Loan Sharks

It’s the time of year when people are most likely to feel the pinch and turn to loan sharks to stave off Christmas money worries.

The festive season can be a stressful time for many people especially for those on a tight budget who want to make Christmas extra special.

Unfortunately, it’s also a prime opportunity for illegal money lenders to prey on vulnerable victims when cash is tight and mislead them into thinking it is the only solution.

To combat the problem, we have teamed up with Riverside and St Leonards Community Centre in Bootle to raise awareness of the risks of turning to unscrupulous loan sharks so no one falls victim to their tricks.

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Posters with the telephone number to report loan sharks have been on the back of buses and stencil prints have been jet washed on to the footpaths in key locations where people are likely to be targeted.

Dean Butterworth, Riverside’s Regional Director Liverpool City Region, said: "Christmas can be stressful for many people who worry about paying for presents, food and decorations, and feel the pressure to spend more than they can afford.

It can feel like an easy solution to turn to loan sharks however they may not realise the extortionate interest rates making it impossible for them to pay back. It’s important that residents stay away from loan sharks and only borrow from responsible lenders such as a credit union."

John Ghader, Prima Group Chief Executive, said: “It’s important for our residents to be aware that loan sharks target the most vulnerable people in society and cause nothing but misery for those who borrow from them. We are extremely pleased to have received the funding from the Illegal Money Lending Team to enable us to work in partnership with other social landlords and community organisations to join forces to help tackle money lending issues in Bootle.”

Funding for the Stop the Loan Sharks campaign is thanks to the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT).

You can report a loan shark to the illegal money lending team confidentially on 0300 555 2222 or visit stoploansharks.co.uk and fill out the online form.

NewsThomas Rees