27th November 2015

Loan sharks

Illegal money lending

Credit providers and money lenders must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Illegal money lenders, often called loan sharks, operating in London should be reported to the Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), a National Trading Standards service. The team was created to combat the activities of loan sharks and will be funded by a levy on the financial sector from April 2017.

 

What is a loan shark?

A loan shark is someone who lends money without a required authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority. They are unlikely to give any paperwork and if payments are missed they often use intimidation and violence to get money from their 'clients'. The Illegal Money Lending Team is here to help. If you have any information, however small, on loan shark activities they can help:
  • Have you been offered a cash loan?
  • Have you been threatened when you couldn't pay?
  • Has your bank card been taken from you as a security?
  • Does what you owe keep growing even though you are making payments?
If you can answer yes to any of the above then you may have been the victim of a loan shark.  

Report it

If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing any of the above or has any knowledge of loan shark activities then contact the team in confidence anytime, any day.

Further advice

For more information on loan sharks, other ways to borrow and help with debt visit Citizens Advice. Depending on where you live, or what you do, you may be eligible to join one of London's Credit Unions who can offer a safe lower cost option to save and borrow money. Search online to find one in your area.