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Loan sharks at school gates.

Loan sharks at school gates.

Loan sharks have stood at school gates handing out cards to children as they leave, suggesting mums call them if they need new trainers.

Illegal money lenders have also stationed themselves outside food banks, in casinos, or outside post offices to wait for pensioners.

The reports come in a new review by the Financial Conduct Authority aiming to shed light on criminals' activities.

It concluded that borrowing from these people is "a way of life" for many.

However, the FCA said there was no evidence of a particular rise in this black market.

    

Fears had been raised that a crackdown on payday lenders, who are regulated and licensed by the City watchdog, could lead to some people being turned down for loans following stricter affordability checks and turn to loan sharks instead.

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