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Loan sharks’ cash will help give boost to Wiltshire and Swindon savers

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 rise awareness of the dangers of borrowing from illegal money lenders.

WASCU is not-for-profit organization 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 16 July and end of September 2019, and make at least three monthly payments into their account, will qualify for a savings boost of £25.

Prospective members can sign up for the promotion online, call the team 01772 421 881 or visit one of the local service points quoting promo code “WASCUSharkStop”.

Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said “We are pleased to be working with Wiltshire and Swindon Credit Union to launch this incentive to encourage residents to safe 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, lending 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

Notes to Editors

For press enquiries, contact Natalie Bruins.  Marketing & Communication Manager, WASCU.|077 49326 885