Government to target loan sharks

The treasury has announced further funding to enable the expansion of its initiative to tackle loan sharks.

Following the success of pilot schemes conducted in Glasgow and Birmingham, chancellor Gordon Brown confirmed that the project would now be extended nationwide with a programme in each region of the UK.

The programme aims to provide improved advice for people who could fall prey to loan sharks, which could include encouraging consumers to look at legitimate financial service providers and compare loans to find the best rate.

Ed Balls, the minister responsible for financial inclusion, commented: “Today’s announcement will bring help to more victims nationwide while also sending a further warning that these illegal and unacceptable practices will not be tolerated.”

He added that loan sharks represent “a blight on the least well-off communities”.

The scheme also aims to reduce such activity by exposing and prosecuting people who act illegally by charging excessive interest rates.

Ian McCartney, trade and industry minister, added that the roll-out of the scheme would focus on areas where the problem of loan sharks was most common.

According to Sainsbury’s Bank, January is one of the most active periods for personal loan uptake in the UK.

© Adfero Ltd

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