Bristol Credit Union have teamed up with The England Illegal Money Lending Team, Bristol City Council, and Bristol Housing Partnership to encourage residents to sign up to a credit union account.
As part of the incentive anyone opening a credit union account will receive £10 into their account after 3 months of saving*. The money being used for this has been taken from convicted loan sharks via the proceeds of crime act.
The scheme was launched on 2 June 2015 at the Bristol Aquarium by Assistant Mayor for Neighbourhoods Councillor Daniella Radice. Councillor Radice commented:
“Loan sharks prey on the most vulnerable in society and have a devastating impact upon the lives of their victims. They also foster a climate of fear and blight local communities. I want people to know that there is a good local source of credit in our own Bristol Credit Union.
As part of the launch the project and participants signed a Bristol wide anti loan shark charter. James Berry, CEO of Bristol Credit Union says:
“We are delighted to be part of this important scheme. By encouraging more people to use our services, we are helping people fight back against loan sharks. BCU is dedicated to promoting saving so people can proactively prepare for the kinds of unexpected expenses that might make people tempted to use loan sharks. By saving with us, members also have access to a full range of our banking services, including low cost loans, avoiding extortionate interest rates like those offered by unscrupulous money lenders”.
Jacqui Kennedy, head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team said “If you or anyone you know has been approached by a loan shark, we need to know. The IMLT has prosecuted 321 illegal lenders but we know there are more out there and we need your support. Please report them, so we can stop them. Loan sharks should never be a consideration if you need to borrow money. We urge you to contact our hotline on 0300 555 2222 with any information – calls are confidential, and can also be anonymous. The team also offers victim support for anyone involved with a loan shark. We are here to help you – it’s the loan shark who is in trouble”.
Incentivisation scheme - Terms and Conditions
1. The incentivisation scheme will run from 2 June until 31 August 2015.
2. Applicants must live in the Bristol Credit Union Common bond area
3. To open an account you’ll need to make a £1 deposit (£7.50 online) and quote “£10 Offer” or CURO10 (CURO customers) – membership fee is waived with this offer. Proof of ID and address will also need to be presented to open an account.
4. This offer is restricted to one application per household.
5. To qualify for the £10, applicants must make a deposit at least once a month for 3 months. The £10 will be credited to their account after this period.
6. The scheme is open to the first 100 applicants.
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