The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) is providing grants of up to £5,000 for local groups that want to raise awareness of the issues of illegal money lending in their community. The funding has come from the proceeds of crime taken from convicted illegal money lenders, also known as loan sharks.

Loan sharks operate by giving cash loans without any paperwork and aim to double the amount they get back or charge extortionate interest rates. When people struggle to make repayments, the loan sharks may use violence, threats and intimidation, to ensure that they get their money.

Charities, community and voluntary groups, schools, statutory agencies and local residents in England can apply.

The grants can be used for ‘any worthwhile’ community project that meets the following criteria:

  • Contributes to raising awareness of the dangers of using loan sharks.
  • Prevents crime and disorder and makes a difference in local communities.
  • Promotes the work of the Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) in communities.
  • Encourages reporting of loan sharks and signposts victims to the team.

Commenting on the funding, Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team said:

“We encourage groups to come forward and apply for funding to help stamp out illegal money lenders.

“The money seized through the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) is reinvested back into communities through projects aimed at tackling loan sharks and supporting victims.

“We are very much aware of the devastating impact loan sharks have on families and communities and we’re determined to do all we can to eradicate them.”

The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021.


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