Moneylenders and their Customers


The image of a moneylender is often that of a 'loanshark' who uses fear and violence to intimidate vulnerable borrowers. That may be true for illegal lenders, but there is also a large, legal moneylending, or weekly collected credit, industry. This book reports on the first ever independent study of legal moneylending in Britain. Its findings often challenge common assumptions about the moneylending industry. For example:

  • There are about 1,200 legal money lending companies employing about 27,000 people, who visit approximately 3 million customers every week to lend and collect repayments.
  • The majority of collectors are women.
  • Customers have limited access to other, cheaper forms of credit. But most are happy with the service they receive.
  • The very poorest groups in society have limited access to even to legal money lending. These may be the people who turn instead to the loansharks'.