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NCC welcomes scheme to tackle loan sharks

The National Consumer Council (NCC) has welcomed the government's initiative which aims to tackle loan sharks.

Claire Whyley, NCC deputy director of policy, remarked that the scheme will help consumers in poorer areas of the UK find cheaper ways to borrow money.

"It's vital that these new projects are supported by efforts to make more affordable credit widely accessible in poor communities," she said.

By removing illegal lenders from poor communities, the victims can be free from the threatening behaviour and intimidation they bring, she added.

Ms Whyley's comments follow chancellor Gordon Brown's announcement that the government will be providing additional funding to help clamp down on loan sharks nationwide.

The schemes will add to already-successful programmes which have been rolled out in Birmingham and Glasgow, the government suggested.

Commenting on the project, Ed Balls, economic secretary to the Treasury, called loan sharks "a blight on some of the least well off communities".

He stated that the government's announcement would send out a warning to loan sharks, showing them that illegal and unacceptable practices would not be tolerated.