The Scottish Illegal Money Lending Unit (SIMLU) has expanded its network of organisations operating in communities which help residents to report illegal loan shark activity safely.
The new recipient of the Stop Loan Sharks Scotland Charter Mark is the Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL) in recognition of their commitment in supporting and promoting the work of the SIMLU and for taking a zero-tolerance stance on illegal money lending within their communities.
The aim of the SIMLU charter mark is to create a network of organisations actively seeking to uncover and tackle illegal lending and, most importantly, to stop people from ever using loan sharks in the first place.
Fiona Richardson, Chief Officer of Trading Standards Scotland said:
“I am delighted that ABCUL have signed up to the Stop Loan Sharks Scotland Charter Mark. Credit unions are a key part of making sure that consumers can access affordable funds and also to develop a good saving habit.
“We are looking forward to working with ABCUL in tackling the problem of illegal money lending in Scotland and hope that, by providing support and advice through credit unions, fewer people will turn to illegal money lenders.
“If your organisation would be interested in signing up to the Charter Mark or if you would like more information, please get in touch. In a period of great financial uncertainty, it is important that we take all the steps we can to stop people from borrowing from loan sharks and getting trapped in a cycle of debt and intimidation.”
Andrew Nadan, Members’ Relationship Manager at ABCUL, said:
“The Association of British Credit Unions Limited is delighted to be recipients of the Charter Mark. The credit union movement is aware more than most of the damaging impact of illegal money lending.
“Working closely with the Scottish Illegal Money Lending Team will enable us to support our members, not only to combat the scourge of loan sharks in the communities credit unions serve, but also to ensure that people in the community have access to the ethical financial services credit unions provide.”