Exploitation by money lenders and door-to-door creditors could
be curtailed if the government backed a proposal to expand access
to financial services, a new report claims.
The report by Debt on Our Doorstep – a coalition of church groups
and credit unions – calls for more government funding to provide
the 88 most deprived areas in the country with extra resources to
tackle financial exclusion.
Co-author Niall Cooper said the funds could come from the
£120m allocated to the financial inclusion fund last December
by chancellor Gordon Brown, much of which had still not been
distributed, he said.
Cooper said: “Many credit unions, serve between 1,000 and 5,000
people. But the problem is much larger than that. There are
20,000-30,000 people in the most deprived local authorities who
would be without access to credit. Scaling up is about improving on
existing arrangements to provide a much higher level of access to
those who need it most.”
Delivery of the strategy would be done through local authorities or
local strategic partnerships.
- Scaling up for Financial Inclusion