A CAMPAIGN to clampdown on legal loan sharks preying on the poor and vulnerable has been launched.
Cash-strapped householders are being warned to avoid money lenders who charge interest rates of up to 4,000 per cent.
And campaigners have slammed the government for failing to properly regulate doorstep and pay day lenders who leave people crippled by multiple debts.
Wakefield MP Mary Creagh teamed up with the White Rose Credit Union and Mark Burns-Williamson, who is standing to become the city’s crime commissioner, to launch the campaign on Friday.
Ms Creagh said: “High-cost lending is causing misery for hundreds of people across the district.
“A lack of government regulation leaves legal loan sharks free to exploit people who are struggling, pushing them further into debt.
“With one in three payday loans taken out to pay off other payday loans it is clear these high cost credit products need to be capped but this government refuses to act.”
With rising unemployment and falling wages caused by the recession, people are being encouraged to speak to the White Rose Credit Union if they are struggling financially instead of falling prey to loan sharks.
Richard Stevens, director of the credit union, on the Springs, Wakefied, said: “The practice of high interest lending is morally wrong.
“It allows organisations, such as doorstep, log book and pay day lenders, to exploit the vulnerable and make unreasonably high profits from those who can least afford it.”
Ms Creagh said anyone who wanted to join the campaign should call her office on 01924 386124.