It’s Talk Money Week 2021 – let’s start a conversation about money and loan sharks

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) is supporting Talk Money Week 2021, an annual awareness campaign run by The Money and Pensions Service to encourage people to open up about their finances.

Held from 8th to the 12th November, Talk Money Week aims to reduce the stigma around money by encouraging conversations among families, friends, neighbours, colleagues and communities.

People in the UK don’t talk about their money enough. Despite the COVID-19 crisis affecting our finances, 9 in 10 UK adults – that’s 47 million of us – don’t find it any easier to talk about money, or don’t even discuss it at all.

Money is frequently considered a taboo topic and conversations about finances can often make people feel embarrassed and conflicted. But by talking openly about money, it can massively improve physical, mental and financial wellbeing.

If you have borrowed money from a loan shark, it’s important to remember that you have done nothing wrong and there is no shame in seeking help. It may seem like a difficult step to take, but there is support available.

Why talk about money?

As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever that we get support for the money worries it has brought to light.

Research shows that people who talk about money:

  • make better and less risky financial decisions
  • have stronger personal relationships
  • help their children form good lifetime money habits
  • feel less stressed or anxious and more in control

Building money conversations into our everyday lives also helps us build financial confidence and resilience to face whatever the future throws at us.

Talking to your children about money

We believe that one way to stop loan sharks is by helping people to understand how to manage money from an early age. Getting your children used to talking about money can help them avoid financial issues in the future and protect them from falling prey to unscrupulous lenders.

Improving financial education and raising awareness of where to find the right information will help give our children the resources to manage their money and keep safe in the future.

Financial education at home or school sets children and young people up for a brighter financial future, but millions of parents and carers don’t speak openly with their children on money matters. We have free financial education packs with fun activities, games and resources that help teach children about money and the dangers of using loan sharks.

Could someone you know be involved with a loan shark?

 Loan sharks often:

  • Pretend to be a friend at point of borrowing
  • Offer a cash loan, quite often without paperwork
  • Take bank card or possessions from the borrower as security on the loan
  • Increase the amount owed even if regular payments are being made

If a friend, family member, colleague or neighbour confides in you that they are involved with a loan shark, we have some advice to help you support them.

If you or a loved one have been affected by illegal money lending, remember there’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about and you are not in trouble for borrowing from the loan shark – it’s only the lender who has acted illegally. Please get in touch with us so we can offer advice and support.

You can access confidential support on the 24 Hour Stop Loan Sharks Helpline on 0300 555 2222 or via Live Chat on the website www.stoploansharks.co.uk. This service is open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Just click on the chat icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen to talk in real-time with our expert support team.