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Cath Wohlers LIAISE Manager England Illegal Money Lending Team.

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Presentation on theme: "Cath Wohlers LIAISE Manager England Illegal Money Lending Team."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cath Wohlers LIAISE Manager England Illegal Money Lending Team

2 The definition of a Loan Shark Someone who lends money as a business (to two or more people) without having the necessary licence:

3 Typical characteristics No credit agreements given No credit agreements given No receipts for payment or payment books No receipts for payment or payment books Most payments are cash and weekly Most payments are cash and weekly Violence and/or intimidation - threats Violence and/or intimidation - threats May suggest payments in kind to themselves or others May suggest payments in kind to themselves or others Often work alone or have a tight group of collectors Often work alone or have a tight group of collectors

4 ….Typical characteristics Can take illegal securities e.g. cash card Can take illegal securities e.g. cash card Never advertise – incentives for introducing a friend Never advertise – incentives for introducing a friend Communicate mainly in person or via text Communicate mainly in person or via text Repayments of at least twice the amount borrowed Repayments of at least twice the amount borrowed May encourage the use of legal credit options to pay towards the debt e.g. credit union or crisis loan May encourage the use of legal credit options to pay towards the debt e.g. credit union or crisis loan

5 Loan Sharks target the most vulnerable People are reluctant to complain through peer pressure People may have extended family in area The offence of unlicensed money lending may not show true Extent of criminal activity Victims are not aware of the law regarding money lending Other agencies are not aware of the law regarding money lending Victims feel morally obligated to pay back The money they borrowed Challenges

6 Addressing the issues Using the full weight of the legislation available: Using the full weight of the legislation available: Consumer Credit Act Consumer Credit Act Proceeds of Crime Act Proceeds of Crime Act Theft Act 1968 – Demanding money with menaces / Blackmail. Theft Act 1968 – Demanding money with menaces / Blackmail. Injunctions and anti social behaviour Orders. Injunctions and anti social behaviour Orders.

7 MM Ex British Commonwealth boxing champion (Mike Armstrong) Ex British Commonwealth boxing champion (Mike Armstrong) Business premises in Gym in Salford Business premises in Gym in Salford Advertised in MEN/Local free papers as MAM finance Advertised in MEN/Local free papers as MAM finance Pleaded guilty to 3 Blackmail, 7 Criminal damage, 1 Affray and one Illegal lending Pleaded guilty to 3 Blackmail, 7 Criminal damage, 1 Affray and one Illegal lending Given 4 year sentence Given 4 year sentence 900 victims across Greater Manchester 900 victims across Greater Manchester Judge remarked ‘Attempted murder of the soul’ Judge remarked ‘Attempted murder of the soul’

8 Loan Sharks and Financial Inclusion Source of Intelligence Source of Intelligence Prevention is better than cure Prevention is better than cure Victim referrals Victim referrals Community work and education Community work and education

9 “Blair's ill-gotten gains are being ploughed back into the community he preyed on” 79 new savings accounts opened

10 POCA – Play – “A Loan”

11 Looking forward…….Our Offer to Partners Enhanced Training Enhanced Training Events Events Action Plans Action Plans Publicity and Promotion Publicity and Promotion Community development model Community development model Campaign Partner Campaign Partner Community Advocates Community Advocates

12 Key Stats Identified over 2,000 illegal lenders Arrested over 525 illegal money lenders (loan sharks) Written off over £40 million of illegal debts (money victims would have paid back to illegal lenders if the Department had not acted) Secured over 200 prosecutions, resulting in prison sentencing totaling over 128 years and one indefinite sentence Helped over 18,000 victims of loan sharks including the most hard to reach individuals Seized over £1.5 million in cash Over £27 million of assets are being investigated (under POCA) with the intention of removing these from illegal lender Referred over 750 victims to alternate (legal) sources of financial support Trained over 5000 front line staff

13 Do you know a victim? Owe money to a friend? Owe money to a friend? No paperwork? No paperwork? Loan that just keeps growing? Loan that just keeps growing? What you can do: What you can do: –Pass the intelligence to us –Support the individual to talk to us –Arrange a meeting with a LIAISE Officer for a discussion about what support is available Every piece of information can help Every piece of information can help Anonymity, confidentiality, third party reporting, what if? Anonymity, confidentiality, third party reporting, what if?

14 Text: loan shark + your message to

15

16 Matthew Thubron LIAISE Officer


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