Crackdown on illegal lending ‘welcome’

The government has announced it will get tough with loan sharks and the misery they cause to people in already bad financial shape.

John Hutton, secretary of state for business, enterprise & regulatory reform, has announced a £3 million fund to help eliminate illegal lending.

The measures have been welcomed by Abcul, the credit union organisation, which has said that the move will complement other initiatives the industry itself is involved in.

Mark Lyonette, chief executive of Abcul, said: “Loan sharks are the scourge of less well off communities so any action that helps deal with this problem is good news.”

The £126 million Now Let’s Talk Money campaign, funded by the treasury and delivered by the department for work and pensions, aims to educate people about free money advice and the alternatives to loan sharks and doorstep lenders.

Deputy director of policy at the National Consumer Council, Claire Whyley, said that some people were unable to access other forms of credit and felt they had no choice but to go to loan sharks.

“That makes them incredibly vulnerable,” she told the BBC.

© Adfero Ltd

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