Community finance and the cost of living

A webinar to share insights from research commissioned by Fair4All Finance and undertaken by Pal Vic, Senior Research Fellow, Community Finance Solutions at the University of Salford to look at the impact of the cost of living on credit unions and CDFIs.

These findings highlight the pressures currently being felt by the community finance sector and can be summarised into 6 key findings:

  1. Cost of living crisis is reducing access to affordable credit, as lenders decline more loan applications
  2. Harder to assess loans, as applicant’s circumstances and behaviour more fluid and unpredictable
  3. Nature of demand and lending changing with shift to smaller loans to cover living costs
  4. Savings growth falling or lower than projected, as members withdraw more savings and deposit less
  5. Mixed picture on portfolio quality, though mostly pointing to deterioration in quality
  6. Pressures on cost and income may be existential threat for some lenders and manageable for others

We also heard from Kate Pender, Executive Director and Director of Growth and Development Programmes at Fair4All Finance who discussed what support and initiatives Fair4All Finance is exploring to support during this time of increased financial pressure.

Finally, we heard from representatives working in the sector about how this situation is affecting them and those they are trying to support, and Simon Gregory from Data on Demand will share findings on high cost credit applications and how this has been influenced by the current climate.


  • Niall Alexander, Markets and Consumer Insights Manager, Fair4All Finance
  • Dr Pål Vik, Senior Research Fellow, Community Finance Solutions, University of Salford
  • Simon Gregory, Sales Director, Data on Demand
  • Kate Pender, Executive Director + Director of Growth and Development Programmes, Fair4All Finance
  • Joanne Angus, CEO of NEFirst Credit Union
  • Shiona Crichton, CEO of Moneyline
  • Paul Norgrove, CEO of Serve and Protect Credit Union

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