Affordable credit via community lending networks

Affordable credit should be accessible to everyone in every community across the UK, and the ethical lending trade body has set out how this vision should be realised. In its Just Finance report, published today, the Community Development Finance Association (CDFA) maps the six steps that are needed to ensure we all have this basic right – of access to fair finance.

In order to help the small businesses unserved by mainstream banks and to provide an effective alternative to payday lenders, the CDFA is calling for: 

  • Banks to  work with community lenders and refer on declined customers
  • Investment in infrastructure to link up  community lending, saving and support
  • A £150m capital fund to expand the community lending network

Ben Hughes, Chief Executive of the CDFA said,

“We must not under-estimate the value of providing access to finance for all, nor under-estimate the investment that is needed to achieve this.”

“Our financial markets are not working well. We still have limited competition and many consumers are vulnerable to exploitative lenders. Community development finance institutions (CDFIs) are stepping up to fill the c£6bn gap that banks and others do not serve. They provide a sustainable solution, translating national policy into on-the-ground results.”

“The Government must introduce community investment legislation, to ensure all markets get the finance they deserve. Only then will our families and entrepreneurs achieve their potential.”

Just Finance can be downloaded at http://www.cdfa.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Just-Finance-web-version.pdf