We’re working with representatives and organisations from across the community finance sector to raise awareness of what has been described as one the UK’s most well kept financial secrets.
‘The community finance sector shouldn’t be a well-kept secret’Lauren Peel, Head of Markets, Consumer Insight and Product Design
One of our key missions at Fair4All Finance is to increase access to affordable credit. While an important part of this is investing to grow provision in and access to the community finance sector, and develop new products and services, we know the missing piece of the puzzle is making sure people know who these providers are.
We know that credit unions and community finance providers can be a lifeline, especially in a time of crisis but many people still don’t know what credit unions and Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) are, what they do, the difference they can make, and importantly how they can help people increase their financial resilience through saving and provide wider financial support.
Lauren Peel, Head of Markets, Consumer Insight and Product Design at Fair4All Finance said:
‘UK credit unions now serve around two million members and other responsible finance firms have more than doubled their customer base in the past few years.’
‘Having access to credit and savings in challenging financial times is part of your financial resilience and simply knowing your likely options, should you need financial support, can be a huge relief to people.’
And with 17.5m people currently experiencing financially vulnerable circumstances as shown in new research from Fair4All Finance and Trajectory Partnership these are important resources that could be helping thousands more.
As more people are squeezed and seeking alternative finance options in response to the cost of living crisis, we’re seeing small trends that show community finance use is increasing however we know this is not enough.
That’s why we’re working with sector representatives, including ABCUL, UKCU, ACE Credit Union Services and Responsible Finance to create a sector wide campaign that will drive up awareness of the sector and the many benefits of credit union membership and wider community finance lending
How are we doing this?
Through our working group we’ve highlighted our key messages, and working closely with sector representatives and directly with community finance providers, we’ve been successfully pitching national and regional PR coverage aimed at raising awareness of, and driving traffic to, community finance providers. We hope to expand this campaign further in 2023.
We know affordable credit won’t be right for everyone, but we know that when provided responsibly it builds financial resilience. Most struggling households do not apply for a loan unless it’s necessary. Fair loans can give people the dignity of providing for themselves and their families, without resorting to higher cost credit or illegal options like loan sharks.
While many may be looking at community finance for the first time because of the cost of living crisis, it’s important to remember that Credit Unions and CDFIs are there to help regardless of your income, and can be a great alternative to mainstream finance or savings.
Visit our campaign webpage here: