It is a shocking fact that over one million adults in the UK have borrowed money from a loan shark and are suffering as a result. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have become financially vulnerable or are experiencing a worsening of their financial position. As the cost-of-living crisis continues, more people may be forced into debt and will turn to or consider borrowing money from illegal lenders or loan sharks.

Stop Loan Sharks Wales is operated by the Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit. Our team was established in 2008, and as Stop Loan Sharks Wales we are the agency which investigates and prosecutes loan sharks throughout Wales – and also protects and supports people who have borrowed money from loan sharks. The UK Government funds us to carry out this vital work, with a team of specialist investigators and client liaison officers.

We work in partnership with local authorities, the police, advice agencies, charities, and housing providers. With these partners, we raise awareness of the loan shark problem, and work with them to assist those who may be vulnerable to loan shark activity, or may already have been preyed on.

Since 2008, we’ve supported hundreds of people who have suffered as a result of this crime, and written off hundreds of millions of pounds in illegal debt.

347 suspected illegal money lenders identified
70,000 suspected number of loan shark victims in Wales
3537 victims identified
909 victims directly supported by WIMLU
Over £2,000,000 debt written off


Our priority is always the safety and welfare of people who have borrowed money from a loan shark. We have specialist officers who focus on supporting and assisting the victims of this crime. We encourage and support the use of safe affordable credit, such as that offered by Credit Unions.


We are the government agency tasked with investigating and prosecuting loan sharks in Wales. Our team of investigators includes specialist financial investigators and has a wide range of expertise in gathering evidence which will lead to the successful prosecution of a loan shark.


Our relationship with partner agencies is vital to our work, and we will provide free training and awareness raising to organisations. Contact us to discuss this!