Sunderland City Council has been awarded partner recognition status from England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT). It is awarded to organisations that work in communities to raise awareness of loan sharks and their impact on local communities and create safer spaces for residents to live and work.
The city council was recognised by the IMLT for its work carried out with communities, including a series of events for Stop Loan Sharks Week in September, where the team visited different areas across the city to talk to residents about their concerns and raise awareness of illegal money lending.
Council officers and partners who work directly with Sunderland residents have also received IMLT training to help spot loan sharks and support people who have concerns. Councillor Linda Williams, Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Vibrant City, said: “We are very proud to have achieved partner recognition status from the IMLT because it shows that we are working hard to keep our residents safe from predatory loan sharks.
“Many people are facing financial challenges at the moment, but we are committed to supporting residents who may be struggling with their finances. I would encourage anyone who has concerns to get in touch with us first and see what support is available to them, as borrowing money from an illegal lender may seem tempting, but it can make financial problems worse”.
Sunderland City Council has partnered up with Moneywise Credit Union, to bring affordable credit and secure savings to Sunderland Residents and offer a more local and ethical alternative for lending.
You can find out more information on loan sharks, how to spot them and how to report them at Loan Sharks-Sunderland City Council.