A note of a loan-sharking ring near an industrial park in Hanoi that offer loans for workers. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Du Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said banks need to lend more, especially to poor people, to overcome the loan-sharking crisis. He admitted at a conference Wednesday that though loan-sharking is prohibited, the problem persists in many rural areas, causing serious financial harm to people. One reason for its prevalence is the difficulty in getting bank loans. The PM concurred with the World Bank’s warning that the ratio of the Vietnamese population without access to credit is high. “Banks are partly responsible for this issue since they have not been able to extend their services to remote and rural areas.” The banking sector needs to more proactively coordinate with the Ministry of Public Security to better handle the loan-sharking crisis and make credit more accessible to people, especially the poor, he said. Incomplete statistics from the ministry reveal that more than 7,600 loan-related crimes have been recorded in Vietnam in the last four years, with both lenders and borrowers affected. They include 56 murders besides intentionally inflicting injuries, robberies, seizing assets using force, frauds, and scams. Loan-sharking often involves debt collection by rogue enforcers and thugs. The criminal police department is currently monitoring 124 gangs with 831 individuals engaged in crimes related to loan-sharking.