Loan sharks' cash to help Shropshire Savers

10/07/2018

Just Credit Union and the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) have joined forces to raise awareness of the dangers faced by people who borrow from illegal money lenders.

Karen Farrow, Chief Officer of Just Credit Union, said today “Sadly, we have heard many upsetting stories of people who have fallen into the hands of loan sharks.

“Many loan sharks resort to bullying tactics such as intimidation, threats and even violence to enforce repayment and often won’t set an interest figure or have any form of paperwork.

“We want to make loan sharks history in our county so we are delighted to offer an incentive to show people there is a better, safe and more affordable way to manage their money.”

Money confiscated from convicted loan sharks will be used to support new accounts set up with Just Credit Union in Shropshire.

In partnership with the Illegal Money Lending Team, the proceeds of crime money is to be used as an incentive to encourage people in Shropshire as well as Telford & Wrekin to save. Qualifying individuals who join Just Credit Union before the end of October, and who save a minimum of £10 over a 13 week period, will qualify for a savings boost of £25.

Just Credit Union and the IMLT are working with a number of leading organisations across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin to promote the incentive.  They are Wrekin Housing Trust, Brookside Big Local, Bourneville Housing Trust, Citizens Advice Telford and Shropshire, Shropshire Housing Alliance, Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing and Shropshire Rural Communities Charity.

Jackie Machado Financial Inclusion Officer at Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing said “We are pleased to be involved in this initiative. Loan sharks prey on the vulnerable and we as a team are committed to supporting customers in financial hardship to prevent them falling victim to this awful crime. It is important for people to realise that alternatives to borrowing from loan sharks are available and Just Credit Union are there to help.”

Tony Quigley, head of IMLT said  “Loan sharks spell misery for victims and these criminals often use underhand tactics to extort money from vulnerable people.

“We would always urge residents to check before they borrow and only use legitimate lenders such as Just Credit Union.  Advice and support is available to anyone who has been affected by loan sharks.

“By calling 0300 555 2222 they can speak to a member of the team or visit www.stoploansharks.uk for more information.”

Deb Morrison, Financial Inclusion Manager, The Wrekin Housing Trust. “We are proud to again be working with Just Credit Union. They bring ethical, low cost lending to our communities, allowing access to quality financial services to the most excluded within our neighbourhoods avoiding the need to use less ethical lenders.”

For more information on how to become a member of Just Credit Union people can call 01743 252325 or visit https://www.justcreditunion.org/.