To report a loan shark: Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222, Text 'loan shark + your message' to 60003.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or private message on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject - Log-on to the website Loan sharks.
Illegal money lenders, are unlicensed (lending without a Consumer Credit licence) and operate outside the law. They are commonly referred to as loan sharks. These loan sharks not only take advantage of vulnerable borrowers but also bring disrepute to legitimate lenders.
Consumers who may find themselves unable to access credit due to a poor credit history, an inability to manage finances or because their income is simply too low to provide reassurance, may resort to illegal money-lenders.
The Government believes that action is needed to protect consumers, particularly the most vulnerable in our society. It is seeking to promote responsible and sustainable banking and curb unsustainable lending in order to protect consumers from financial malpractice.
An estimated 165,000 households in the UK use an illegal money lender each year. If you need to get information about reporting a loan shark or managing your money you can:
To report a loan shark: Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222, Text 'loan shark + your message' to 60003. E-mail email@example.com Private message on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject Log-on to Loan sharks
To contact Moneywise Credit Union:
View the National Newsletter to see an update on the work of the National Illegal Money Lending Team:
- Issue 2014 (pdf 490 kb)
- Issue 2015 (pdf 3.9 mb)
- Spring 2016 (pdf 825 kb)
- Autumn 2016 (pdf 3.82 mb)
- Spring 2017 (pdf 3 mb)
- 2017 (pdf 3.1 mb)
- Summer 2017 (pdf 2 mb)
- Winter 2017 (pdf 2.3 mb)
- Summer 2018 (pdf 2.8 mb)
Newcastle's Financial Inclusion Plan
The City Council has now adopted a new approach to increasing financial inclusion. The Financial Inclusion Plan aligns the work of a range of partners to reduce duplication and target capacity to meet our shared priorities. The plan is about making the most difference to people whose lives will be improved by becoming financially included. Financial inclusion is about making sure everyone has access to appropriate financial services and the skills and confidence to use them to improve their lives. The Deputy Leader Councillor Joyce McCarty leads on Financial inclusion for the City Council.
Financial inclusion is an important element in tackling poverty and facilitating social justice. The aim of the Financial Inclusion Plan is to make a measurable difference to financially excluded people.
The various milestones for the Trading Standards service around this partnership working can be listed as follows:
- We continue to share intelligence and engage with the IMLT,
- We engaged with the two 'weeks of action' programmed by the IMLT. These took place in Byker (14 -18 May 2012) and Walker (21 - 25 May 2012),
- We developed in partnership with the "Moneywise" credit union, a credit union for taxi drivers. This project was launched on the 30 August 2012 by Councillor McCarty the Deputy Leader and Mr Andrew Breese the Chief Executive of "Moneywise".
- We have with the assistance of colleagues from Parking, placed key messages promoting the "Stop Loan Sharks" campaign and also "Moneywise" on car parking receipts for payments,
- We have with the assistance of colleagues from Parking, placed key messages promoting the "Stop Loan Sharks" campaign and also "Moneywise" on posters placed within our Council car parks,
- We arranged a publicity event at the Newcastle Falcons Vs Plymouth Albion rugby match at Kingston Park on the 30 November 2012.
- We have arranged with the IMLT to sponsor advertising for a year on a Newcastle taxi.
- We also arranged with the IMLT to sponsor advertisng for 3 months on a number of City Council refuse vehicles. View the press release from the IMLT (word 709 kb) or view picture of one of the refuse vehicles and the taxi go to Refuse Vehicle (pdf 658 kb)
- We attended the meeting of the City Council's Policy Cabinet on the 16 January 2013. View a copy of the agenda for this meeting (pdf 199 kb)
- We supported the IMLT with its proposal to fund community based one off projects in Benwell, Scotswood and Elswick up to £500. To see the news release for the delivery of this successful event go to Project
- A week of action was held in Heaton and Ouseburn (26 -29 March 2013). 4000 households in these areas received a leaflet with IMLT information and Credit Union Information on. 6 Schools had had 'Sharky' at the Schools gates at 3pm handing out leaflets to over 60 parents. Over 31 people including some Police Officers attended during the week of action.
- A week of action was held in Westerhope (8 - 12 July 2013). Assemblies were held at West Denton, Walbottle Village and Beech Hill Primary schools, giving youngsters an understanding of loan sharks so they will know to avoid them in later life. We also attended the ward committee financial inclusion meeting to discuss the issue. Banners, posters and beer mats displaying the 0300 555 2222 hotline number were also distributed throughout the community. View the news release. View a photograph of the launch for the week of action attended by Councillor Joyce McCarty, Councillor Brian Hunter and Shona Alexander from the Newcastle CAB (pdf 268 kb).
- The full City Council on the 4 September 2013 agreed to sign the IMLT "Stop Loan Sharks" agreement. This agreement was signed by the Deputy Leader Councillor Joyce McCarty, Mr Steve Murphy the Chair of Your Homes Newcastle and Ms Shona Alexander the Chief Executive of Newcastle CAB. View a copy of the agreement (pdf 59 kb).
- The Financial Inclusion Group was named as the regional winner of the Stop Loan Sharks Award. It was awarded by the Illegal Money Lending Team for warning of the dangers posed by loan sharks while at the same time increasing access to affordable credit and helping people to budget. Initiatives included awarding £3,000 confiscated from loan sharks to community groups for awareness raising projects, developing a credit union for taxi drivers and giving £1m for credit union loans for people previously considered too risky to loan to. View a photograph of the presentation on the 24 September attended by Councillor McCarty, Ms Tracy Armstrong (Newcastle CAB), Mr Steve Murphy and Ms Catherine Wohlers (IMLT); where the regional award together with the 'Stop Loan Sharks' agreement were handed over (pdf 181 kb).
- Following an approach made from the Unison Branch at Newcastle Hospitals Trust, a two day of action (26 and 27 February 2014) was held at the Royal Victoria Infirmary. Representatives from Unison, the Moneywise credit union and Newcastle Citizens Advice Bureau and the Hospitals Trust together with 'Glenda the Lenda' were present to promote the Moneywise credit union and awareness of loan sharks to employees of the Trust. To see a photograph of Shona Alexander, Chief Executive of Newcastle CAB, Sir Leonard Fenwick, Chief Executive of the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Trust and Councillor Linda Hobson, Deputy Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Regulation and Unison Branch Secretary go to photo (pdf 1.32 mb)
- A joint initiative with the IMLT and Newcastle CAB to promote awareness of loan sharks was held with the assistance of the "Newcastle Diamonds Speedway" team at the match held against "Scunthorpe Scorpions" on the 20 April 2014. The event was a very successful one and to continue this positive promotion of the loan shark message, an advert has been placed with the team in the home programmes, scheduled for the rest of the 2014/2015 season. To see a photograph taken of Councillor Linda Hobson, Deputy Cabinet Member for Community Safety Regulation together with Shona Alexander the Chief Executive of the Newcastle CAB and "Glenda the Lenda" and the "Newcastle Diamonds" team go to photo (pdf 2.36 mb)
- The City Council supported the intercative workshop organised by Clean Slate Financial Wellbeing Services, the IMLT and the Shontal Theatre group at the Beacon, West Road on the 25 April 2014.
- A press launch of the joint initiative with the IMLT and the "Moneywise" credit union to encourage children to become savers was held at Atkinson Road school on the 7 May 2014. To see the local press coverage of the launch go to Tyne Tees TV and the Chronicle
- A news release warning consumers in the pre Christmas run up of the dangers of going to loan sharks featured on Metro Radio on the 21 November 2014.
- A press article highlighting the enforcement action taken against suspected loan sharks in Walker featured in the Chronicle of the 15 September 2015.
- A week of action was held in Walker (30 November - 7 December 2015). Over 20 people including staff from YHN, Riverside Housing and ISOS, Newcastle CAB and Police Officers attended the launch event. To see a photograph of the launch go to: photograph (pdf 4.35 mb)
- A week of action was held in Fenham (7 March - 11 March 2016). Over 25 people, including staff from YHN, Newcastle CAB and Police Officers attended the launch event held in Fenham Library. To see a photograph of Councillor Joyce McCarty signing the charter on the 7 March 2016, go to: photograph (pdf 2.2 mb)
- A press article highlighting the enforcement action taken against suspected loan sharks in Benwell and Walbottle featured in the Chronicle of the 31 January 2017.
- Press articles highlighting the enforcement action taken against a loan shark operating in North Tyneside and Newcastle featured in the Chronicle of the 7 February 2017.and the Chronicle of the 29 June 2017.
- Media articles promoting the launch of the national Christmas campaign 2017 were highlighted through the City Council's website and Metro Radio of the 3 December 2017.
- A Financial health event was held with the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Moneywise Credit Union, Newcastle CA and Unison on the 12 and 16 January 2018. To see a photograph of the event held at the RVI on the 16 January 2018, with Councillor Joyce McCarty go to photograph (pdf 1.9 mb).
- The City Council supported the launch of the video highlighting how parents are affected by loan sharks, which was held at the Tyneside Cinema on the 5 June 2018. Go to video.
For reports on the successful delivery of the strategy, as adopted by the Illegal Money Lending Team in Newcastle and the immediate area see the work as outlined in the following press articles:
Evening Chronicle on 26 May 2012
- Evening Chronicle on 5 September 2012
- The Journal on 12 September 2012
- Evening Chronicle on 15 December 2012
- The Journal on 14 February 2013
- Evening Chronicle on 4 April 2013
- Chronicle on 21 June 2013
- Chronicle on 15 September 2015
- Chronicle on 6 December 2016
- Chronicle on 31 January 2017
- Chronicle on 7 February 2017
- Chronicle on 29 June 2017
- Chronicle on 9 January 2018
Newcastle Debt Advice
Newcastle Debt Advice is a partnership of debt advice agencies. Its aim is to deliver fast simple access to free advice and information for people with debt, rent or mortgage problems.
Services involved in Newcastle Debt Advice include:
For further information, please contact the Trading Standards Service, Directorate of Operations and Regulatory Services, City of Newcastle upon Tyne, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH. Phone: 0191 2116121. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Download an A3 size poster for the Loan Shark campaign (pdf, 122 kb)