Funding available to help combat ‘loan sharks’

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) are putting proceeds of crime money to good use with grants to community groups. The national team, who investigate and prosecute loan sharks, are encouraging community groups to bid for grants of up to £5,000.

The IMLT will vote on which applicants will be granted the funding to support their community project. The aim of this national scheme is to see the illegal earnings convicted loan sharks have made, used wisely, to benefit key areas and reinvest the money back into local communities.

Applicants are welcome to bid for the cash to spend on any worthwhile community project which does at least one of the following:
-Contributes to raising awareness of the dangers of using loan sharks
-Prevents crime and disorder and publicises the Stop Loan Sharks message
-Promotes the work of the Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) in communities
-Encourages reporting of loan sharks

Loan sharks often trap borrowers into spiralling debt by charging astronomical rates of interest and arbitrary extra charges. In some cases, loan sharks have been known to resort to bullying tactics such as intimidation, threats and even violence to enforce repayment among borrowers.

The closing date for applications is Saturday 30 June 2018. For more information about this funding scheme and to receive an electronic application form, please contact LIAISE Manager Dave Benbow by emailing David.A.Benbow@birmingham.gov.uk.

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