Calls For Scotcash Model To Be Expanded
Posted by: Deborah Mooney on September 07 2016 | Tagged:
Influential Report Calls For Scotcash Model To Be Expanded
Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) last week published a report into the ‘poverty premium’ – when those on low incomes pay more to access goods and services. The aim of the report was to bring attention to the difficulties and barriers low earners across Scotland face in their everyday lives, particularly relating to energy, telecommunications, credit, loans and insurance.
Scotcash was specifically identified among the major recommendations made in light of the report’s findings, when it was suggested that “partnership working between the Scottish government, local authorities and other interested stakeholders to deliver more Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)” should be encouraged.
Describing Scotcash as “one of the most successful CDFIs currently operating in the UK”, the report also stated that the organisation has been effective in tackling barriers to finance. It was strongly recommended that the Scotcash model be replicated across Scotland, in order to enable low-income consumers to access affordable finance products and services.
An independent evaluation of Scotcash carried out by the University of Sheffield in 2011 was referenced in the CAS report, stating that at that time, Scotcash had issued 12% of all the micro-loans in the UK and that the organisation had been successful in easing financial exclusion among customers. The CAS report also made additional reference to a Carnegie UK Trust examination into affordable credit in Scotland, which called for “more robust and sustained backing of credit unions and CDFIs” and featured Scotcash as a case study. This substantiates the need for more accessible credit, with the Carnegie UK Trust report also stating that a “holistic, preventative approach” like Scotcash offers “can help people to become more financially secure and ultimately improve their quality of life and standard of living”.
Reviewing the Citizens Advice Scotland report, Scotcash CEO Sharon MacPherson said:
“We are delighted that the positive impact Scotcash has on our customers’ financial situations has been recognised. If the Scotcash CDFI model can be realised Scotland-wide, it will make a real difference to the lives of many in this country – with the potential to improve not only their financial health, but also their physical and mental wellbeing by reducing some of the pressure they face on a daily basis.”