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Just Credit Union joins the Illegal Money Lending Team’s national campaign against loan sharks

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07 Dec 18

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) has launched a social media campaign to give users advice on how to avoid falling victim to loan sharks, as well as reporting illegal money lending in their community.

Just Credit Union (JCU) has participated in the campaign, by working with a local primary school to improve pupils financial awareness. JCU runs a junior savers account in the school and now with the help of the IMLT is supporting a fortnight where all lessons will be themed around money and finance.

Rachel Gillett, Deputy Headteacher at Holmer Lake Primary School, said: "The aim of our whole school finance fortnight is to develop the pupils' confidence, skills and knowledge so that they are equipped to manage their money, now and in the future."

"With the shift towards an increasingly cashless society and with advertising targeted to influence spending, especially at this time of year, we want our pupils to think carefully about how they use money; understand the benefits of saving and know the risks involved in borrowing money."

Steve Barras, Just Credit Union Development and Marketing Officer, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Illegal Money Lending Team and Holmer Lake Primary. Holmer Lake works hard to prepare their children for their life beyond the school and financial skills are an important element of that.

“The school already offers a Just Credit Union junior savings scheme run by senior pupils. We are also introducing a new scheme again supported by IMLT to help adults who are borrowing for Christmas to build up some savings.”

Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said:  “We believe improving financial education and raising awareness of where to find the right information will help give children the resources to manage their money and keep safe in the future. It is hoped pupils will take these important messages about loan sharks home to their families.

 “Loan sharks are a scourge on our communities, taking advantage of people in desperate situations and trapping them in a cycle of debt and misery. This time of year is especially profitable for them as they prey of people trying to cope with the pressures of Christmas.

“If you do need to borrow this Christmas, do so from a responsible, ethical source - such as a credit union and avoid turning to illegal money lenders.”

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 382 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 330 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off over £74 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 28,000 people.

The campaign launched on Wednesday, 5 December and will run until Wednesday, 12th December. The content will consist of tweets, advice articles and media links being shared from the Stop Loan Sharks Facebook page and Twitter account.

 

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