Michael Sheen backs new Carnegie UK Trust Affordable Loans Campaign
Posted by: Eden Morrison on January 26 2018 | Tagged: General news
Hollywood actor Michael Sheen has backed the new Carnegie UK Trust’s £1m Affordable Credit Loan Fund, which will provide further access to affordable financial products for Scotland’s poorest.
Delivered in partnership with Social Investment Scotland, the fund is available to social lenders to help them expand their loan book and reach many more vulnerable people.
Sheen said: High cost credit has for too long been targeted at those who can least afford it and those who are most vulnerable in our society.
But it’s not just about creating more providers – we need to do more to enable them to compete with the high cost providers and to provide vital financial support to communities across the UK, putting people before profit.
The Carnegie UK Trust said it is estimated that around 150,000 people in Scotland borrow £250m from high cost lenders like pay day loan firms, door step lenders and rent-to-own shops annually. The accessibility and size of these high cost lenders are what affordable lenders have to challenge when providing accessible products to customers.
Sheen highlighted the differences between affordable lenders and high cost credit lenders further:
There are solutions, there is a different more affordable, more socially responsible way that money can be lent, where the borrowers needs align with the lenders motivation.
Social lenders are not for profit alternatives that focus on lending money to low income households… they focus on minimising the costs to borrowers, not maximising them.
There are a small number of these organisations around the UK, organisations like Scotcash, First Alliance, Money Line and Conduit Scotland, offering a gateway to affordable credit.
The work of affordable lenders helps individuals to move away from the ‘poverty premium’ and towards being in control of their finances. The poverty premium is the concept that those who are financially excluded pay £490 or more - compared to those who are financially secure – to access basic services and products, such as gas, electricity and telephone bills.
The wrap around services provided by affordable lenders like Scotcash cover individual areas relating to financial exclusion; such as providing access to basic bank accounts, savings accounts and money and debt advice.
Michael Sheen further starred in a short video promoting the launch of the campaign which can be seen below.
To find out more about the Campaign you can visit the Carnegie UK Trust website here.