NOT SURE WHAT A LOAN SHARK IS?
If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions you might be borrowing from a loan shark:
- Did they offer you a cash loan?
- Did they not give you paperwork?
- Did they add huge amounts of interest or APR to your loan?
- Have they threatened you?
- Are you scared of people finding out?
- Have they taken your bank card, benefit card, passport, watch or other valuables from you?
Who we are
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) was set up in 2004. Initially created as a pilot scheme in Birmingham to investigate loan sharks it had such an impact on illegal money lending it received further government funding.
Today the England IMLT investigates and prosecutes illegal money lenders while supporting those who have borrowed money from a loan shark. Illegal Money Lending Teams in Scotland and Wales ensure the entire UK is working to stop loan sharks.
Each team is comprised of specialist investigators and Liaise Officers who have previously worked for the police, trading standards, and debt advice services. Together the investigators and Liaise Officers work to prosecute illegal money lenders while supporting people who owe money to a loan shark
The England IMLT work as Stop Loan Sharks within local communities, within education, and with partner agencies including the police. Since 2004, the England IMLT have supported over 28,000 people and written off over £73,000,000 of debt.
It is estimated that there are 310,000 people in debt to illegal money lenders in the UK. The Illegal Money Lending Teams within the UK work to raise awareness of what illegal money is while investigating and prosecuting loan sharks.
Illegal Money Lending Teams and the Financial Conduct Authority
The Illegal Money Lending Teams in England, Scotland and Wales work alongside the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to investigate those operating within the consumer credit market without the appropriate authorisation.
In 2016 the Government legislated to introduce an industry levy to fund the activity of the teams and to take action against illegal lending. The service is governed and overseen by the FCA and HM Treasury.
How we work with education and partner agencies
The England IMLT work closely with education providers and partner agencies such as the police, housing associations, and debt advice services. Investigating and prosecuting loan sharks is an important part of the England IMLT’s work and is combined with awareness raising of the problems and issues that illegal money lending causes.
The Stop Loan Sharks team have developed a range of free education resources, free partner tools, and will also deliver free in-house training for partner agencies and the police. Explore our website for more information on these resources or email David.A.Benbow@birmingham.gov.uk or call 07500 809339 to find out how we can help you.