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​Protecting people from loan sharks during the Covid-19 crisis

Press release   •   Mar 23, 2020 11:56 GMT

Bury’s trading standards officers are playing their part in cracking down on loan sharks taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic.

The council knows that this period may be putting increased pressure on some people, and is working with partners in the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) to ensuring that loan sharks do not take advantage and profit from people’s hardship.

Anyone lending money should have the correct permission from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Legal lenders have to comply with strict guidance and ensure they are dealing with customers fairly, using proper paperwork and legal collection methods.

You can check if a company is authorised to lend money at www.loansmart.org.uk

Citizens Advice, Money Advice Service and Stepchange have a wealth of information available to help people whose health and finances have been affected by the current situation.

See www.stoploansharks.co.uk

  • The Stop Loan Sharks helpline service is operating as normal on 0300 555 2222. If you are the victim of a loan shark contact the team for help. Visit the website here for more info and support: http://bit.ly/2vyzQyg
  • If you are being harassed or threatened by an illegal money lender – call the @LoanSharkNews helpline 0300 555 2222 for emotional support, information and guidance. Find out more about the different ways the team can help here: http://bit.ly/2Q0Yej9
  • Loan sharks are not your friends – these criminals are highly manipulative and want you under their control. Find out how to get help if you or someone you know is a victim of illegal money lending here http://bit.ly/2Q0Yej9
  • Useful advice from @YourMoneyAdvice for those experiencing financial hardship. If you need to borrow money, check the lender is authorised by @theFCA and avoid loan sharks. More information here: http://bit.ly/33tJpLj
  • Angela Lomax, head of trading standards and licensing at Bury Council, said: “We know that many people will rightly be worried about struggling in the coming months; however, trading standards will be supporting the Illegal Money Lending Team when it comes to taking action against unscrupulous profiteers who take advantage of people in difficult times.”

    Anyone wanting to report cases of rogue traders or uninvited doorstep callers should ring the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

    ENDS

    Press release issued: 23 March 2020.