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4 Mar 2024

The British Book Awards has announced its shortlist for Independent Bookshop of the Year. 

4 Mar 2024

The ACT is happy to confirm the date for Local Bike Shop Day 2024 as Saturday 4 May, the weekend of the early May Bank Holiday.

4 Mar 2024

Research by global fintech company SumUp has revealed the best cities in the UK for independent businesses.

21 Feb 2024

The latest quarterly State of the Industry survey from the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) shows that the recovery of the sector was slow and steady through 2023 and into January...

21 Feb 2024

The UK has voted for its favourite pun-based shop name, and 'Sew It Seams' - a clothing alteration store in Belfast - has been awarded the top spot. 

21 Feb 2024

Businesses in the Devon town of Ottery St Mary have praised their local council for initiatives designed to help support them and boost trade.

19 Feb 2024

A new ranking of the most popular independent coffee shops in the world has put three UK cafes in the top 10.

19 Feb 2024

Older people could be the financial shot in the arm needed for Britain’s high street, according to research commissioned by the University of Stirling. 

8 Feb 2024

The ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has celebrated the crucial role that rural shops play in thousands of communities across the UK in its 2024 Rural Shop Report.

8 Feb 2024

New research reveals that Apple Pay and contactless payments have overtaken cash payments by a landslide as our favourite ways to pay in-store.

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Bira urges vigilance against loan fee fraud following FCA guidance.

Posted on in Business News

In the face of the escalating threat of loan fee fraud, the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) is urging its members to heed the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) recent guidance to safeguard against scams.


The FCA is intensifying efforts to raise awareness about loan fee fraud, a growing menace that preys on unsuspecting individuals seeking financial assistance. The regulatory body is encouraging consumers to follow a simple 3-step check to protect themselves from falling victim to scams.

1. Beware of Cold Calls or Emails:
If you receive unsolicited communication, exercise caution as it could be a potential scam.

2. Avoid Upfront Fees:
Be cautious if asked to pay any upfront fees, as this is a red flag for potential fraud.

3. Watch for Unusual Payment Requests:
Scammers often demand quick or unconventional payments; therefore, be vigilant if faced with such requests.

Therese Chambers, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, emphasised the importance of the 3-step check, stating, "Fraudsters will exploit any opportunity, and it's crucial to protect yourself and your loved ones from loan fee fraud. If you encounter cold calls, upfront fees, or unusual payment requests, be on high alert."

To assist individuals in verifying the legitimacy of lenders, the FCA recommends checking their loan fee fraud page and searching the lender's name on the Financial Services Register before proceeding with any loan applications. This proactive approach can help identify and avoid firms attempting to scam consumers.

This year, the FCA has collaborated with Debt Free Advice, a debt advice coalition led by Toynbee Hall, to raise awareness about the support available for individuals facing financial stress and debt challenges.

Consumers and businesses alike are reminded that dealing with unauthorised firms leaves them without coverage from the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in case things go awry. Bira encourages its members to stay informed and vigilant to protect themselves and their businesses from the threat of loan fee fraud.

You can find out more about loan fee fraud here.

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