Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Denbighshire signs up to Illegal money lending unit

Denbighshire's Cabinet has today approved plans for the work of Wales’ Illegal Money Lending Unit to be extended into the county.

Illegal money lending covers a range of activities, from people that are actually licensed but are acting unlawfully (for example by canvassing away from trade premises) to the people offering cash loans without being licensed.

The Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit, run by Cardiff Council was set up in February 2008 to investigate activity to establish if a problem exists and, if so bring the persons carrying out this activity to justice. The service has been operating across South Wales and is looking to extend its operations to other parts of Wales.

The scheme will be funded by the Welsh Assembly Government until 2011 and will be reviewed at that time.

Councillor Sharon Frobisher, Cabinet Lead Member for Communities, said: "Evidence indicates that illegal money lenders are widespread and prevalent. They operate in areas that have a high proportion of rented accommodation and target the most vulnerable members of society. The majority of people using illegal money lenders are in receipt of income support or benefits and are introduced through word of mouth.

"The Unit also assists victims with practical help and support through and in conjunction with the services of local debt advice teams and the National Debt Line. Victims often need more than simple money advice and so face to face advice is considered the most helpful way forward.

“Signing up to the Wales Illegal Lending Money Unit sends out a clear message that illegal money activities of any kind simply will not be tolerated.”


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