Liverpool credit unions take on illegal and high interest lenders with £1million from city council

Seven credit unions in Liverpool have received £1million from the city council to fund low-cost loans to families and businesses.  The aim is to prevent them from resorting to high interest, short term lenders or illegal loan sharks.

The aim, over a three year period, is to support more than 23,000 individuals and more than 650 companies and new enterprises via 12,500 loans.  The city council funding is expected to lead to a total of £3million being lent, because repayments will be “recycled” into more loans.

Research into illegal money lending in the city found that it was widespread, particularly in areas with a high proportion of rented accommodation with  illegal moneylenders resorting to intimidation and violence in order to secure payment. Other common traits include adding indiscriminate charges, targeting single mothers and introducing payment through sexual favours.

For more on this story, go to: