Loan Sharks and Illegal Money Lenders


A Loan Shark is someone who lends money as a business to two or more people without the correct permissions.  These permissions are granted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), it is a criminal offence to lend money without the correct permissions.

An estimated 310,000 households across the Country are in debt to a loan shark.

These criminals usually appear friendly at first but quickly trap their borrowers into spiralling debt.  As the debts can't legally be enforced many lenders will resort to the most extreme and callous methods to enforce repayment including threats, violence and intimidation.  Exorbitant extra amounts and interest are added at random - the highest interest seen by an illegal lender was equivalent to 131,000% APR.

Nationally the Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 300 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to over 200 years worth of custodial sentences.  They have written off over £ 60 million worth of illegal debt and helped nearly 26,000 victims.

Safe and responsible borrowing can be done via your local credit union, to find out more about credit unions in Cumbria visit

Check if a lender is registered - you can search the Financial Services Register for companies and individuals authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) by email telephone  - 0800 111 6768 or via their website.

To report a Loan Shark - this can be done 24 hours a day, seven days a week either by calling 0300 555 2222, via email via text loan(space)shark(space) + your message to 60003 or via their website.

For more information you can also visit You Tube, Twitter and Facebook.