Month of action announced against exploitative loan sharks who prey on the poor and vulnerable

Cllr Virginia Bucknor

Cllr Virginia Bucknor - Credit: Archant

THE campaign to stop loan sharks and doorstep lenders preying on poor and vulnerable people will intensify this month.

A stall will be set up in Wisbech Market Place on Saturday to promote Wisbech Savers, the credit union that opened in the town in January.

Then, on Monday, a “Stop the Loan Sharks” week of action will begin in March to raise awareness of illegal and exploitative moneylending.

The Wisbech Savers scheme, actively supported by Fenland District Council and Roddons Housing Association, provides an alternative to moneylenders who charge exorbitant rates of interest for loans and helps those who have difficulty opening a bank account.

Councillor Virginia Bucknor said: “Wisbech Savers gives its members a chance to save and receive interest as well as get loans at low rates of interest. It also offers many other financial services.


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“For example, if you receive housing benefit, you can ask Wisbech Savers to process it.

“This helps you keep your rent payments safe for your landlord - you won’t be tempted to spend it or use it to pay off an overdraft, and it won’t get muddled up with your other finances.”

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The Stop the Loan Sharks week of action will begin with a symbolic signing of a charter where Fenland District Council, Roddons, police and other agencies will pledge their support to tackling the issue of illegal money lending in the March area.

Events will be held where residents will have the chance to speak confidentially to an expert if they feel they have fallen victim to a loan shark.

Councillor David Oliver, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for community safety, said: “We know that illegal moneylenders operate in the area and that they exploit the most vulnerable people. So we’re looking to raise people’s awareness of the problem and let them know where to go for help and support.”

Victims of loan sharks can call 0300 555 2222 in strict confidence. For more details on the campaign, visit http://facebook.com/StopLoanSharksProject

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