As a Labour and Co-operative Party councillor I think that there should be no tolerance of loan sharks, both legal and illegal, and Dundee City Council and others should be promoting credit unions. I think that everyone should take a close look at the report issued by the Office of Fair Trading on Payday Lending.
I have been saying for some time that there is no place for loan sharks in Dundee. I have called on the council to take action against illegal loan sharks. These difficult financial times are pushing people into the hands of loan sharks both legal and illegal. I am pleased that the police and organisations like Stop Loan Sharks. At a recent briefing from Stop Loan Sharks I heard about legal loan sharks charging an APR of 719,000%. I am also concerned about the expansion of what I call legal loan sharks, who charge APR such as 4000%. It is important that we offer alternatives and I believe that credit unions are that alternative.
There should be no place for loan sharks in our society and I think that there is a need for more support of alternatives such as credit unions.