New mural to raise awareness of the dangers of using loan sharks
Citizens Advice Peterborough works with Stop Loan Sharks to create a graffiti mural on their city centre shop front.
Citizens Advice Peterborough has secured funding from the Stop Loan Sharks Community fund – provided by the England Illegal Money lending team (IMLT) – to produce a graffiti mural on the shutter door of their office premises on St. Mark’s Street.
Working with graffiti artists, Blank Walls, the mural aims to highlight the dangers of using loan sharks to the local community. St Mark’s Street is in the heart of the city and one of the main walkways into the centre, so the mural aims to have an impact on a large number of Peterborough’s residents.
Approximately 30% of the clients at Citizens Advice Peterborough are struggling with debt issues and a proportion of these clients have utilised Illegal Money Lenders, commonly known as Loan Sharks, to borrow money in order to pay off these debts.
Loan Sharks lend money without having any authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority. They often give cash loans without paperwork and charge extortionate interest rates. When you struggle to make repayments, they may use violence, threats and intimidation.
The mural aims to raise awareness of how to report loan sharks to the IMLT, whilst creating a lasting reminder on the Citizens Advice building of the importance of this issue. Citizens Advice Peterborough hopes to see a decrease in the number of local people using loan sharks and an increase in the number of loan shark reports to the IMLT within our local community.
Keith Jones, Chief Officer at Citizens Advice in Peterborough, said:
“Illegal money lending is a growing problem especially in the challenging times we are currently experiencing where people are struggling to meet bills and buy food. Our aim is to ensure that people are aware that loan sharks are not the answer and will only increase the problems and stress they are facing. People who owe money to illegal lenders should contact Citizens Advice for help.”
You can also download the Stop Loan Sharks app for free on Google Play and the Apple App Store.