Jobless and underemployed people are turning to loansharks in increasing numbers to make ends meet, a pressure group warned yesterday. The Neighbourhood and Workers Service Centre found that in the past two months 48 out of 659 people surveyed had resorted to borrowing from credit card firms and loansharks, compared with 104 for the first nine months of the year. Twenty-eight people made ends meet, according to the survey, with the help of friends and relatives in October and November, against 83 for the period up to the end of September. Leung Chi-shing, a member of Kwai Tsing District Board, described the trend as 'alarming'. 'These people took out overdrafts averaging $50,000 from banks or worse still, from loansharks. 'A new social problem will spring up with loansharks using unscrupulous means to collect debts.' Kwok Kam-sing, 52, spoke of his insistence to refuse Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, despite being underemployed for six months. 'My dignity will be dented if I apply for CSSA,' he said. He earns an average of $2,000 a month, one-tenth of his previous salary. 'I've borrowed more than $10,000 from friends. I'm the pillar of the family. 'My wife and my daughter will starve if I carry on like this,' he said. Unemployed Chan Hon-tung, 53, has been relying on his brother's financial support since October, when he received a registered letter from his boss terminating 31 years of service for a transport company. 'I am close to bankruptcy, all my savings have dried up,' he said.