Responsible Finance, the association representing responsible finance lenders across the United Kingdom, officially launched in Wales at the Senedd, Cardiff Bay on Wednesday 12th October 2016. The event was hosted by Jane Hutt, Assembly Member for Vale of Glamorgan, and Jennifer Tankard, Responsible Finance Chief Executive.
The launch marks the rebranding of the Community Development Finance Association (CDFA) as Responsible Finance, and provides an opportunity to celebrate the ambition to expand fair and affordable loans to the people, places and businesses of Wales. The evening featured case study presentations that illustrate how responsible finance members are driving growth and prosperity in Welsh local economies.
Responsible finance providers are mission-driven lending institutions that provide finance and wrap-around support to people, businesses and social enterprises that cannot access finance from high street banks. The sector’s objective is to create economic opportunity and stimulate the local economy through new enterprise activity, jobs created and saved, and savings and wealth generated.
In the last 10 years responsible finance providers have lent over £1.6 billion to businesses, people, and communities across the UK, with the unmet demand for responsible finance reaching more than £6 billion annually. The industry in Wales is growing at a rate of 14% per year – its four members (Moneyline, Purple Shoots, Robert Owen Community Banking and Social Investment Cymru at WCVA) have lent £27 million to 37,000 customers in the last 10 years.
Speaking on the Launch of Responsible Finance in Wales, Jane Hutt AM said:
“I am delighted to be sponsoring this important event to raise awareness of the Responsible Finance Providers in Wales. Their work in providing finance and wrap around support to people, businesses and social enterprises who cannot access finance from mainstream banks, is vital in creating economic opportunity and stimulating the local economy. The industry is growing at a rate of 14% per year, and so this event is a fantastic opportunity for Wales’ responsible finance providers to share with us their case studies and insights.”
Follow Jane Hutt on twitter at @JaneHutt
Jennifer Tankard, Chief Executive of Responsible Finance said:
“The Responsible Finance sector makes a massive difference to people and businesses across Wales, giving them access to finance they either wouldn’t have or only have at exorbitant interest rates. In the last 5 years, the sector has helped 316 businesses to start up and grow and given 500 customers loans to improve energy efficiency in their homes. In the last 8 years it has provided affordable personal loans to 36,000 people. And in the last 10 years it has supported 120 social enterprises to start up and grow. By supporting business and social enterprises and helping people to access affordable finance and avoid debt, it has a significant impact on the Welsh economy. Our launch today celebrates the impact we have had so far and our future commitment to supporting the Welsh economy.”
Follow Jennifer Tankard on twitter at @JenniferTankard