Unmasking Loan Sharks: Can Debt Advisers Tackle the Silent Menace?

Unmasking Loan Sharks: Can Debt Advisers Tackle the Silent Menace?

Join us in this eye-opening podcast as we delve into the alarming issue of illegal money lending in Britain. In light of the Centre for Social Justice’s groundbreaking research, we uncover the shocking reality that up to one million people in England resort to borrowing from loan sharks due to the cost-of-living crisis. Disturbingly, only 37% of victims seek debt advice, and even among those who do, many withhold crucial information from their advisers, citing reasons such as not being asked, unawareness of available help, or shame.

In this podcast, we aim to explore the key themes unveiled by the CSJ’s report, titled “Friend or Foe?”. We embark on a compelling discussion surrounding the extent of illegal lending in the UK. We then shift our focus to the challenges faced by debt advisers when interacting with clients trapped in debt. Finally, we examine potential solutions and strategies to empower debt advisers in effectively addressing loan sharks and encouraging clients to report them.

Don’t miss this crucial conversation as we shed light on the hidden aspects of illegal money lending and strive for a brighter future for those impacted by this pervasive issue.


  • Jessica Prestige – Deputy Policy Director at CSJ (host)
  • Yvonne Fovargue – MP for Makerfield and Chair of the APPG on Debt
  • Cath Wohlers – LIASE Manager at the Illegal Money Lending Team England
  • Matthew Greenwood – Head of Debt at CSJ

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