To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 3 July 2019 to Question 269775, whether the practice of loansharks applying on behalf of an individual for a universal credit advance payment which is then issued as a loan to the individual is being investigated by her Department.
8 July 2019
Any exploitation of advance payments is not acceptable, and takes advantage of a process designed to support claimants during their first assessment period. We are seeking to identify the perpetrators and will take appropriate prosecution action.
The Department is committed to reducing fraud and works hard to identify perpetrators of fraud. We have a dedicated team of investigators working on this issue and we regularly raise awareness with our front line staff who understand the risks and raise concerns as appropriate.