Community Empowerment will soon be launching a bid to secure funding for a campaign to Stop Loan Sharks in the Portsmouth area, with particular focus on Leigh Park. Currently our plans are set to include handing out leaflets and displaying posters highlighting the dangers of dealing with Loan Sharks, as well as showing alternatives -- particularly Credit union loans.
Unlicensed Loan Sharks are people who are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They frequently, will initially, appear friendly, perhaps professional during their initial approach; but once they have you this can change. Because they are unlicensed they are not compelled to abide by the laws in place surrounding money lending; there are no APR or Interest caps and they often use scare tactics such as Harassment and Physical Abuse. We are all aware of Loan Sharks from movies and their obsessions with breaking legs or kneecaps; these threats not Hollywood fictions! There are even cases where loan sharks have collected their clients' children from school and driven them home.
If you, or a friend or loved one, are currently held in the jaws of a Loan Shark, there are ways around this and people are willing to help you.
For confidental help and advice contact the Illegal Money Lending Team:
Telephone: 0300 555 2222 (local call rate, including inclusive minutes from mobiles).
Text: LOAN SHARK and your message to 60003.
Of course if you are in immediate danger then you must call 999.
Finally to dispel a common misconception: It is not a crime to owe money to a Loan Shark.