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Consumer minister Jo Swinson made an appearance at a loan shark event in Enfield
Consumer minister Jo Swinson and Enfield Council leader Cllr Doug Taylor being given the Stop Loan Sharks Award after the local council won the national prize
Organisations from across the UK came to Enfield Town to learn more about stopping people falling prey to loan sharks.
Consumer minister Jo Swinson also promoted the event by giving a speech and presenting Enfield Borough Council with the Stop Loan Sharks Award at the Dugdale Centre in London Road, Enfield.
The council received the national award and a £1,000 prize for its work stopping illegal lenders during the past year.
Loan sharks individuals or businesses that offer loans at extremely high interest rates, making it difficult for people to pay the loan back. The loan sharks can sometimes enforce by blackmail or threats.
The Minister said: “Loan sharks are a blight on society and this criminal activity needs to be stamped out. Violence, bullying and harassment go hand-in-hand with this type of lending. We need to clamp down on illegal lenders, prosecute them for their actions and make sure people are aware of the pitfalls.
“I am delighted to be here in Enfield to recognise and reward the hard work of the borough council. Enfield Trading Standards has worked tirelessly to stamp out loan sharks and educate the public about the alternatives
“The community charter is an excellent example of how co-ordination between local agencies can help confront illegal money lending. The message is clear. Loan sharks are not welcome in Enfield.”
Teams that deal with illegal money lending have been set up to tackle the loan shark issue across the UK and have written off £40.3 million of illegal debt with the one annual interest rate at 131,000 per cent.
Enfield Council’s cabinet member for community wellbeing and public health Councillor Christine Hamilton said: "Sadly the present financial situation means that more and more people are tempted to borrow from loan sharks to make ends meet, we're trying to demonstrate that borrowing money from a loan shark is never a good idea and can have unexpected and unpleasant long term consequences.”
For confidential advice from the Illegal Money Lending Team call 0300 555 2222.
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