National team spreads the word against loan sharks across Plymouth


Councillor Chris Penberthy and the National Illegal Money Lending Team meet students at City College.

Councillor Chris Penberthy and the National Illegal Money Lending Team meet students at City College.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team will be at sites in Plymouth all week, working in partnership with Plymouth City Council. The Council recently launched its ‘Say no to Fishy Finance’ campaign in partnership with the National Marine Aquarium and the national team.

The visit to Plymouth forms part of the national team’s month of action on ‘Young People and Money.’ Young people are being targeted because spending starts early, financial skills are lacking, debt is mounting and feedback from schools, parents and students demonstrates that financial awareness and avoiding dangers should be taught. Job Centres, City College Plymouth, DELL Children’s Centre and staff who work directly with Care Leavers are among those being visited this week.

At the end of February, Plymouth City Council launched its new Fishy Finance awareness campaign in partnership with the National Marine Aquarium and the England Illegal Money Lending Team. The campaign is still running and if you search #fishyfinance on twitter and retweet any of the tweets about the campaign you could be in with the chance of winning family tickets to the National Marine Aquarium.

Accompanying members of the national team will be their Mascot, Glenda the Lender. Nationally, the team has been able to help write off debts of more than £62m, which is money that the victims would have had to pay back had they not intervened and removed the loan sharks.

Events taking place as part of Young People and Money tour of Plymouth:

  • Tuesday 17 March: Job Centre (city centre) (10am – 12pm)

DELL Children’s Centre (1pm – 4pm)

  • Wednesday 18 March: City College Plymouth, Goschen Centre,11.30am – 1.30pm
    Job Centre, Devonport
  • Thursday 19 March: 1st Stop Shop, New George Street, Plymouth, 10am – 4pm

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Cooperatives, Housing and Community Safety for Plymouth City Council, said: “It is important that we continue to make people aware of the dangers of loan sharks. We are delighted to welcome the England Illegal Money Lending Team to Plymouth, who are working with us on our Fishy Finance awareness campaign.

“Credit Unions are a great way to both save and borrow money in an affordable way and without the high interest rates and crippling debts that make life unaffordable for many people.”

Councillor Chris Penberthy and friend promoting the Fishy Finance awareness campaign.

Councillor Chris Penberthy and friend promoting the Fishy Finance awareness campaign.

Councillor Sue McDonald, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Public Health for Plymouth City Council, said: “Educating people on how to manage their finances from a young age is essential and we need to equip people with the skills, knowledge and awareness to make informed decisions and prevent them getting into trouble.”

Claire Roberts, Student Services and Tutorial Manager at City College Plymouth, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting the England Illegal Money Lending Team at the College, giving our students the chance to get some sound financial advice. Young people are often at risk from loan sharks, so it is important that they are aware of the pitfalls and learn to manage their finances now.”

Claire Bower at Advice Plymouth said: “We fully support the ‘Just say no to Fishy Finance’ awareness raising campaign in the City. To lend money lawfully you have to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). People who lend money without being FCA authorised are breaking the law.  If you do run into debt as result of unauthorised money lending we are always here to provide information, advice and guidance on 01752 52 00 52 or visit www.advicepymouth.org.uk

Tony Quigley Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team with the National Stop Loan Sharks project said: “Illegal money lending is a crime and will not be tolerated.  Loan sharks often prey on vulnerable people, leaving them in misery and fear and with very little to get by on. If anyone is a victim of a loan shark, or knows of someone who is, we would urge you to speak to us in confidence, as we can help. Our hotline number is 0300 555 2222.”

The Fishy Finance campaign was launched at the National Marine Aquarium last month - with the help of Howie the Sand Tiger Shark.

The Fishy Finance campaign was launched at the National Marine Aquarium last month – with the help of Howie the Sand Tiger Shark.

To find out more about the local campaign, including information on Credit Unions and debt advice, go to www.fishyfinance.co.uk or visit Plymouth City Council (Official) facebook page or @plymouthcc on twitter and search #fishyfinance

Terms and Conditions of competition:

For a full list of terms and conditions for the competition click here:

http://www.national-aquarium.co.uk/terms/competition-terms-and-conditions

National campaign:  Follow @loansharknews on twitter and like the facebook page – www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject