Somerset MoneyMatters

Loan Sharks

A loan shark is someone who lends money illegally without holding authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority

What is happening?

Research shows that loan sharks will often target people who are on low incomes, as well as those who may struggle to obtain credit from legitimate sources. The Illegal Money Lending Team campaign is aimed at reaching out to those who may be unaware of the support available. Illegal money lending is an issue all across the country with an estimated 310,000 individuals affected.

Loan sharks will typically appear friendly at first but their behaviour can quickly change with some resorting to threats, violence and intimidation to enforce their debts. They operate illegally, without the correct permissions from the Financial Conduct Authority and rarely give paperwork, keeping borrowers in the dark as to how much they are paying back. Some will even take items such as passports as security or even bank cards with the PIN in order to withdraw directly from borrowers’ accounts.

If you are in debt or you are thinking about borrowing from a loan shark, get advice first.

Contact your local Citizens Advice in confidence.
You can find their offices at

Illegal Money Lending Hotline on 0300 555 222
Text: loan shark and your message to 60003
Log-on to
Twitter @loansharknews