Mark sponsors Parliamentary Motion to tackle loan sharks(June 25, 2019)
Sir Mark has sponsored a Parliamentary Early Day Motion (EDM) which highlights the dangers of using loan sharks and promotes Loan Smart – a new website that allows borrowers to easily check the lenders’ credentials.
The EDM recognises that many consumers are borrowing from money lenders or loan sharks, often without realising it is illegal and that the lenders are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA recently found that 45 per cent of borrowers from illegal lenders had also been verbally abused or physically threatened. Illegal money lending affects over 300,000 people across the UK every year.
The new website, Loan Smart also offers consumers practical advice on what to do if they suspect someone is lending money illegally, or where they can get further help and advice if they are being pursued by unscrupulous money lenders.
Loan Smart work closely with the Illegal Money Lending Teams (IMLT) and their Stop Loan Sharks campaign and are currently hosting a series of grassroots awareness-raising events with IMLT and volunteers across the UK, to engage people in local communities and to spread the message about the dangers of illegal lenders.
Sir Mark said: “I am pleased to be supporting Loan Smart’s efforts to raise awareness of illegal money lending and the dangers of loan sharks. During my advice surgeries, constituents worryingly tell me about their experience of being a victim of illegal money laundering. They receive verbal and physical threats from these loan sharks and are often experiencing a range of other distressing life issues at the same time.”
“I would urge anyone thinking of borrowing money to check the legitimacy of credit lenders and make sure they are authorised by the FCA by doing a quick search on the Loan Smart website. There are also easy ways on the website to report illegal loan sharks and get help and advice if you are struggling to escape the clutches of a loan shark who may be acting inappropriately or illegally. ”