Stop loan sharks

This week is stop loan sharks week.

Christmas Loan Sharks

7 Dec 2018

The campaign is running across the country and aims to highlight the dangers of using loan sharks and encourages people to report them over the festive season.

Loan sharks – also called illegal money lenders – make life a misery for thousands of people across the country and we’re supporting the drive to help customers to report them.

If anyone has borrowed money from a loan shark, they haven’t broken the law – the loan shark has!

Loan sharks often:

  • offer a cash loan but don’t provide any paperwork
  • charge massive interest rates
  • take benefit or bank cards as security on the loan
  • don’t tell people when they will finish paying
  • increase the amount owed even if payments are made regularly
  • threaten or use violence to get repayments.

Anyone lending money should have a consumer credit licence from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Licensed lenders must comply with legal obligations in dealing with consumers, including the use of official paperwork and fair collection methods.

Loan sharks operate illegally without the correct permissions from the FCA. These criminals often take benefit or bank cards as security and resort to intimidation and violence if victims default on payments.

You can see a film about one person’s experiences of a loan shark online:

Anyone who is affected by a loan shark – or who knows someone who is – can report them confidentially to: