Unify Credit Union

Unify recognised for work to combat loan sharks

Friday 19th Aug, 2022

Unify Credit Union has been given a national award for raising awareness of loan sharks

 

Unify Credit Union has won a national award in recognition of its efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of using loan sharks.

The credit union has been recognised by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) for their initiatives tackling loan sharks in the county and making communities safer.

The IMLT investigates and prosecutes illegal money lenders while supporting those who have borrowed money from a loan shark.

The new accreditation programme recognises and rewards partners that work alongside IMLT to raise awareness of loan sharks, and their impact on local communities, and to create safer spaces for people to live and work.

Loan sharks are increasingly using social media platforms to advertise their illegal loans and target potential victims.

A recent campaign by IMLT, called #SharkFreeSurfing, ran across the Stop Loan Sharks and Unify’s social media platforms, with the aim of encouraging not just victims, but the wider community to report online illegal money lending activity.

Angela Fishwick, Unify’s chief executive was delighted to accept the award on behalf of all the team at Unify.  ‘Our staff work really hard to support our members and to encourage them to report loan sharks.  In light of the cost of living crisis, we are very worried that more people may be tempted to turn to illegal lenders as a way of making ends meet, when this will only make their financial situation worse.  If you are struggling with your finances there is help available from the local council and advice network.’

Tony Quigley, Head of England Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “We would like to congratulate Unify on their partner recognition award and thank them for their outstanding efforts tackling loan sharks.

“We are extremely grateful for the support of our partners across the country and rely on them to act as our eyes and ears in communities. By working together, we can stamp out illegal money lending and protect residents from this awful crime.

“We continue to encourage people to come forward if they know of or have been a victim of loan sharks. You are not alone and we will support you.”

Anyone who believes they might be the victim of a loan shark can contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24-hour confidential helpline on 0300 555 2222, email reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk or complete an online report form at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is available on the website from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. 

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