StopLoanSharks Northern Ireland is a public awareness campaign designed to educate and protect consumers from the problem of illegal money lending. The campaign is funded by HM Treasury and delivered by The Consumer Council through its Illegal Money Lending and Financial Services Team.

The work we carry out falls into three main areas:

  • Research - we carry out research into the problem of illegal money lending to better understand the scale, scope, and nature of the problem and to try to identify particularly vulnerable groups.
  • Education and outreach - we are currently working towards finalising a suite of educational resources with the aim of offering educational programmes for children, young people, and adults to raise awareness of the problem of illegal money-lending and to provide practical assistance to those who find themselves in financial difficulties.
  • Lobbying to establish alternative forms of ethical credit - we work with public and private sector organisations to identify and establish viable alternative forms of credit in order to provide practical assistance to people who fall into financial difficulties.

We work with a wide range of partner agencies, including the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Housing Executive, community groups, advice agencies, charitable and voluntary groups, church groups, primary and secondary schools, youth groups, banks and financial institutions, amongst others.

The team is newly-established in Northern Ireland but we work alongside established Illegal Money Lending Teams in England, Scotland and Wales which have been operating successfully for 15 years.

Our research and educational resources will be made freely available to partner agencies and the general public on our Resources page so please check back regularly for updates or Contact Us if you have any queries.