Funding given to tackle loan sharks

Illegal lenders who provide quick cash loans are being targeted using new funding worth £1.2 billion.

In a move which enables the scheme to launch in areas such as Liverpool and Sheffield, the funding was announced on Friday by Ed Balls, economic secretary to the Treasury and Ian McCartney, trade and industry minister.

A pilot initiative has been in operation for the last two years, working to tackle loan sharks who use intimidation and violence to demand large repayments.

According to research from the Department of Trade and Industry, over 165,000 households in the UK use these illegal lenders, who often prey on poorer or deprived borrowers with limited access to legal alternatives.

Mr Balls states that the scheme has three goals, which have already been fulfilled in the pilot area of the West Midlands.

These include raising awareness and teaching those affected about better ways and rates of borrowing, giving them the confidence to speak out if they have been affected by an illegal lender and helping the team build a body of evidence against the loan sharks.

In addition to his role at the Treasury, Mr Balls is also MP for Normanton.

© Adfero Ltd

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