The War on Loan Sharks

The War on Loan Sharks


This is a sharp look at the world of illegal moneylending. We’re not talking about payday lenders who charge high interest rates, but unlicensed loan sharks, the criminal types who offer families a loan to get through a tough patch then extort vast sums of interest – often with threats of violence. One victim borrowed £250 to buy a car and ended up paying back £90,000 over 17 years. We follow raids by the England Illegal Money Lending Team and see the vast sums of cash they recover, the communities they help. Then we gather staff numbers are being slashed by funding cuts.


As households struggle to make ends meet, illegal money lenders are preying on the vulnerable by encouraging them to take out unlicensed loans, charging huge interest rates and then using extreme levels of violence to make them pay. Cameras follow victims who are still living with the terrifying consequences of their borrowing, and some reveal how they are fighting back.

Cast & Crew

Director Adam Kaleta
Editor Tim Thompsett
Executive Producer Tamsin Summers
Producer Rachel Drummond-Hay