Fair4All Finance has announced a new investment of up to £435,000 in Hull and East Yorkshire (HEY) Credit Union.
The investment is the latest support from the Affordable Credit Scale Up Programme, designed to increase the supply of fair and affordable credit for people in financially vulnerable circumstances.
HEY Credit Union offer a range of fair and affordable products to members across the Humber region, an underserved area of the country where nearly 20% of the population lives in areas ranked in the 10% most deprived areas in England.
They have ambitious and sustainable plans to grow and will receive up to £300,000 in subordinated debt to support their growth objectives and initiatives, plus a £135,000 grant to test and develop tools that can be replicated across other smaller credit unions.
HEY Credit Union aim to provide an extra c£11m of affordable lending capacity in their community by 2025, contributing to our 10x challenge to scale affordable credit as an alternative to high cost credit.
Alongside all the social purpose lenders Fair4All Finance supports, HEY Credit Union have signed up to the Affordable Credit Code of Good Practice – ensuring that customers are treated fairly.
Holly Piper, Investment Director at Fair4All Finance says:
‘We’re delighted to announce our investment in HEY Credit Union, a fantastic credit union who support customers in vulnerable circumstances across their community. We were impressed by HEY’s performance and sustainable growth plan and look forward to supporting them to scale up their affordable lending capacity.
‘We’re also pleased our grant will support the development of tools and resources that can be replicated across other community finance organisations – a key element of our Affordable Credit Scale Up Programme.’
John Smith, CEO of HEY Credit Union and one if its founder members says:
‘Our distinctive approach to lending has enabled thousands of people on low incomes to borrow affordably and responsibly to meet unexpected costs, smooth out lumpy budgets or make essential purchases that would be unaffordable upfront. Making it easy for them to save alongside their repayments has also helped many to build the resilience that leads to financial peace of mind.
‘As a member-owned mutual organisation, our directors and staff team are passionate about providing the best possible experience tailored to the needs of those we serve. We are proud to be working with Fair4All Finance to reach out to many more families in our area.’
This story was amended on 22 March 2022 to reflect adjusted investment amount in HEY Credit Union and remove reference to Central Liverpool Credit Union (CLCU), who have since exited their investment agreement. We continue to work with CLCU and other Merseyside credit unions on research into their social impact.
About Fair4All Finance
Fair4All Finance is a not-for-profit organisation founded in early 2019 to improve the financial wellbeing of people in vulnerable circumstances by increasing access to fair, affordable and appropriate financial products and services.
There are over 14m people in the UK with low financial resilience, who are poorly served or unfairly excluded from consumer credit markets. That’s more than a quarter of all adults in the UK. This number has risen by 3.5m people over the past 18 months due to the challenges and impact of Covid-19, and the withdrawal from the market of several regulated high-cost credit providers in recent months.
In response to this challenge, we have three main priority areas:
- Expanding the provision of affordable credit
- Partnering with banks and financial services providers to increase provision of services
- Developing new products and services to address market gaps
You can find our full strategy here.
About HEY Credit Union
We exist to provide inclusive, fair and affordable services for all our member-customers, helping them to afford their lives and improve their financial wellbeing. Working cooperatively with, and supported by, a diverse range of people and organisations, credit unions can be powerful drivers of social benefit, helping the communities we serve to thrive. We aim to make them better off, not to make money out of them.
From our member surveys and other interactions, it’s clear that many people are proud to support what we stand for and share our exciting journey.
Over the coming next five years we are looking to double our membership and lending power, while evolving and adapting our service provision to meet the needs of the next generation of consumers.