Money confiscated from convicted loan sharks has been allocated to a Lancashire charity to help fund a community project which will help raise awareness of the dangers of borrowing money.
Lancashire Women, Lancashire’s leading charity for women and girls, received £ 2,500 after England’s Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) – a national team that investigates and prosecutes loan sharks – a reopened its national proceeds of crime funding program in April.
Charities, schools and organizations across the county were given the opportunity to bid for up to £ 5,000 in funding as long as their project met IMLT criteria.
Mandy Taylor, Career, Counseling and Guidance Program Manager at Lancashire Women, said: “Everyone could benefit from learning from loan sharks, as they are not always organizations, lend money. Money and charging interest without being regulated is illegal these people pretend to be your friend until you can no longer pay – learning the facts and the law can help everyone.
“Contact us to find out more or to speak to one of our qualified and experienced advisers on 0300 330 1354.”
Lancashire women will use the funding to integrate loan sharking awareness into their group sessions and individual financial counseling work.
They already offer Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulated debt counseling and financial counseling appointments, offering a range of free services, which include benefits advice and apps; mandatory review and appeals; debt issues and options; return to work calculations; budgeting advice; and advice on energy saving
Head of Department for the Illegal Money Lending Team in England, Tony Quigley said: “Thanks to this program, the money extorted by loan sharks is put to good use.
“Thank you to everyone who voted or submitted an offer – you have helped to make a difference and fight this crime in your community.
“Loan sharks are a plague on society and cause harm and misery to their victims, but we continue to tackle them across the country.
“We always urge victims of illegal money lenders to seek help by contacting us confidentially on 0300 555 2222.”