On Thursday 21st July, The Young Foundation will be bringing together social investors, innovators, anti-poverty campaigners and other financial institutions to explore opportunities for social innovation in accessing affordable credit, arising from The Young Foundation’s yearlong ESRC study – Credit where credit’s due? Understanding experiences of high cost credit in Wales. (http://youngfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Summary-Report-VFinal3.pdf)

We are looking forward to hearing presentations from the following speakers who will introduce what is currently happening in terms of innovation in the affordable credit market and help to frame an evening of interesting discussion:

  • Tom Levitt, Chair of Trustees, Fair for You
  • Matthew Ford, CEO, Pariti
  • Ged O’Neill, CEO and Co-founder, Uberima
  • Anna Wallace, Head of Innovation Hub, FCA

What do we know?

  • Over 12 million people in the UK do not have access to affordable credit. An estimated 16.8% are over-indebted.
  • The research found that 65% of high cost credit users do not compare offers between lenders.
  • The majority of high cost credit users live in communities where this type of borrowing is ‘normal’.
  • There are alternatives, such as borrowing from a credit union or loans from friends and family. Only 1/3 of those we asked considered these.

What should we do?

There is no single silver bullet which can transform access to affordable credit. However our recommendations, based on our conversations with 100 customers and 26 stakeholders, focus on key actions which together could improve access to affordable credit. Some of the suggestions we make and will be discussing include:

  • Enabling social innovation – with greater regulatory support, greater use of social finance to fund innovation and promoting pro-active cross-sectoral support for experimentation and innovation
  • Expanding the affordable finance market place – with new consumer credit and savings products, by strengthening and growing credit unions and through understanding and segmenting different consumer groups.

We hope the evening will explore opportunities for collaboration and ongoing action to support further innovation in this space. Outcomes from the discussion will follow.