For 2019, Stroud Valleys Credit Union has again partnered with the England Illegal Money Lending Team to offer a special savings scheme with a £25 bonus, free of charge. This applies to those who open a new savings account with the credit union and save regularly for 3 months. This appealing windfall comes from money confiscated from loan sharks by the Illegal Money Lending Team who want to use the proceeds of crime to raise awareness of the dangers of using loan sharks and to encourage people in Stroud district to save – especially as Christmas is now less than 100 days away!
This scheme is available to the first 50 people living and/or working in Stroud district and Tetbury who open a new savings account (excluding junior savers’ accounts) with Stroud Valleys Credit Union between 1st November 2019 until (including) 31st January 2020. They will receive the £25 boost if they save at least £10 a month for 3 months. A quick response to this offer means new savers will find they are saving a lump sum that could help them stay out of debt. An account opened will provide a welcome sum when the full cost of this annual event makes paying post-Christmas bills difficult.
It’s often not realised that loan shark activity is illegal. This scheme is part of the England Money Lending Team’s work to raise awareness of the problem. An estimated 310,000 households nationally are borrowing from illegal money lenders, many of whom charge exorbitant rates of interest to trap people into a spiral of debt.

Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team said:

“Loan sharks are a scourge on our communities, and can have a hugely detrimental impact on the lives of their victims. Through schemes such as this, we are able to use this money for something positive and help to prevent these criminals from operating in the future.

“We urge anyone who has been the victim of a loan shark to contact us in confidence on 0300 555 2222 and help us bring these unscrupulous lenders to justice.”

Graeme Watt, Chair of Stroud Valleys Credit Union believes the savings scheme fits perfectly into the credit union’s ethos and was highly successful when launched in 2018.

“We exist to help our local community and want to do whatever we can to help people become more financially secure and avoid becoming trapped in cycles of debt created by loan sharks and payday lenders. Stroud Valleys Credit Union is operated by local people for local people and provides a savings and loans service that is a fair and responsible alternative to those lenders that charge exorbitantly high rates of interest.”
For more information about how to open a savings account, call 01453 298785, email or pop into a branch at The Old Town Hall, Stroud: Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat 11am-1pm; or Berkeley Town Hall: Tuesdays 9.30-11am.
Website with online services at:

To report a loan shark call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222 or visit

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 380 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 329 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £73.7 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 28,000 people.
For more information, contact:
tel: 01453 298785; email: