Plymouth is supporting a national awareness campaign this week, encouraging people to stand up to loan sharks.
The National Illegal Money Lending Team’s social media campaign – #StandUpToLoanSharks – runs all this week (30 November – 6 December),
Throughout the week, Plymouth City Council is also promoting its ongoing campaign against loan sharks – #FishyFinance – which was launched earlier this year in partnership with the National Marine Aquarium and National Illegal Money Lending Team. In addition to helping stamp out loan sharks, #FishyFinance aims to make people in Plymouth aware of safer alternatives such for borrowing and saving, such as Credit Unions.
Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Cooperatives and Housing for Plymouth City Council, said: “We are fully behind #StandUpToLoanSharks. It is important that we continue to make people aware of the dangers of loan sharks.
“Here in Plymouth we have the world class National Marine Aquarium, which recently took delivery of two new real lemon sharks. These are the only sharks welcome in Plymouth, not loan sharks!
“But there are alternatives, and 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.”
At the end of February, Plymouth City Council launched its Fishy Finance awareness campaign in partnership with the National Marine Aquarium and the England Illegal Money Lending Team, with a competition and prizes for family passes to the National Marine Aquarium. Although the competition is now closed, the awareness campaign continues.
Nationally, the Illegal Money Lending 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.
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.”
To find out more about the campaign, go to www.fishyfinance.co.uk or visit Plymouth City Council (Official) facebook page or follow @plymouthcc on twitter and search #fishyfinance
You can find out more about the National Marine Aquarium’s new arrivals, which were delivered on 25 November, here: http://www.national-aquarium.co.uk/media-centre/press-release/the-national-marine-aquarium-welcomes-two-new-lemon-sharks-from-the-netherlands