Illegal money lending - loan sharks

We want to help if people think they are dealing with a shark. We are working with the Illegal Money Lending team to stop people becoming a victim of a loan shark.

Someone issuing loans must have a credit licence. A loan shark is someone who runs a money lending business without permission from the Financial Conduct Authority. Loan Sharks rarely give any paperwork and if payments are missed they often use intimidation and violence to get money from their 'clients'.

Report a loan shark

To report a loan shark, receive support or get more information visit the stop loan sharks website or call 0300 555 2222 

Get the Stop Loan Shark App

 loan shark app QR code

How to identify a loan shark

You can check the Financial Conduct Authority register to find out if the person lending you money is doing so legally.

If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions you might be borrowing from a loan shark:

  • Did they offer you a cash loan?
  • Did they not give you paperwork?
  • Did they add huge amounts of interest or APR to your loan?
  • Have they threatened you?
  • Are you scared of people finding out?
  • Have they taken your bank card, benefit card, passport, watch or other valuables from you?

Training for organisations

We offer training to organisations about loan sharks and illegal money lending contact us on

Visit for copies of educational material produced by the Illegal Money Lending Team.

Contact us

Page last reviewed: 22 June 2021