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Loan shark cash boosts local savers

A new incentive has been launched in Gloucestershire to encourage residents to start saving and make them aware of the dangers of borrowing from illegal money lenders. 

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) are working in partnership with Gloucestershire Credit Union to raise awareness of the dangers of borrowing from illegal money lenders, more commonly known as loan sharks.

A joint initiative will see the team use proceeds of crime money, confiscated from convicted loan sharks, to sponsor new credit union accounts.

The first fifty people to join Gloucestershire Credit Union before 30th November 2017 and make at least three payments into their account will qualify for a savings boost of £25.00.

Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “Illegal money lenders can have a horrific impact on our communities, and should never be used under any circumstances.

“We’d always urge residents to look at borrowing from safe and legal alternatives, such as their local credit union. Loan sharks may appear friendly at first and act as though they’re offering a community service, but don’t be fooled by this behaviour as it soon changes once monies are owed. 

“If you or someone you know has been the victim of a loan shark, the team are here to help on 0300 555 2222. Your call will be handled by a trained IMLT officer and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence.”

An estimated 310,000 households nationally are borrowing from illegal money lenders, many of whom charge exorbitant rates of interest to trap people into a spiral of debt. Many loan sharks will resort to bullying tactics, such as intimidation, threats and even violence to enforce repayment.

Al Jack, Executive Director of Gloucestershire Credit Union, said: “We are pleased to be working with the Illegal Money Lending Team to launch this incentive. Illegal money lenders cause real misery to the most vulnerable members of our society. We know that people are often embarrassed to talk about their debt problems, but suffering in silence often just allows the problem to grow. At Gloucestershire Credit Union, we always make sure that borrowers can afford loan repayments and are able to refer members to professional debt advisors whenever we become aware that someone may be struggling to repay their debts.”

For more information on how to become a member of Gloucestershire Credit Union, please call 01452 422 712 or visit

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