Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union (WASCU) has joined forces with the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) to use proceeds of crime money as an incentive to encourage people across Wiltshire and Swindon to save, and to raise awareness of the dangers of borrowing from illegal money lenders.
WASCU is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2016 following the merger of South Wiltshire, North Wiltshire, West Wiltshire and Steam Ahead Credit Unions. They offer ethical savings and fair, affordable loans to members of the local community.
The new scheme is being funded by the England Illegal Money Lending Team using proceeds of crime money; cash confiscated from convicted loan sharks, following successful prosecutions.
The first 50 people to join WASCU between now and the end of September 2019, and who make at least three monthly payments into their account, will qualify for a savings boost of £25.
Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “We are pleased to be working with the Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union to launch this incentive to encourage residents to save for a rainy day and steer away from using loan sharks.
“Credit unions offer a real lifeline for some people because they offer access to safe and legitimate financial services, helping to reduce the risk of people going to illegal money lenders.”
An estimated 310,000 households nationally are borrowing from illegal money lenders, many of whom charge exorbitant rates of interest to trap people into a spiral of debt.
Many loan sharks will resort to bullying tactics, such as intimidation, threats and even violence to enforce repayment, and often won’t set an interest figure or have any form of paperwork.
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 390 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 480 years’ worth of custodial sentences.
They have written off £74.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 29,000 people.
To report a loan shark, call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222 or visit www.stoploansharks.co.uk.
Notes to Editors
For press enquiries, contact Natalie Bruins. Marketing & Communications Manager, WASCU. firstname.lastname@example.org | 07749326 885
Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union was formed by bringing together a number of smaller credit unions which operated around the county.Read More
We run a number of community points around the county and in Swindon, where you can save or withdraw money, or make an application for a loan.Find Your Nearest Point Here
Membership is open to anyone who lives or works in Wiltshire or Swindon.Read More
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