We are seeking three non-executive directors to join the Board of Fair4All Finance Limited to help to ensure it delivers the mission of increasing access to fair, affordable and appropriate financial products and services in the UK.
Fair4All Finance has received funding from Dormant Assets and is aiming to become the leading body in the efforts to address this pressing social challenge. Using this funding, the organisation is looking at these markets strategically to make a sustainable positive social impact over the next few years. This includes leveraging our funding to raise additional investment and other external funding streams which link to the mission.
In January 2018 the Government announced that £55m in funding from dormant bank accounts in England would be allocated to support financial inclusion. The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has the power to direct this funding under the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008. The objective of this funding was set out as to increase the use of fair, affordable and appropriate financial products and services.
An engagement process was completed to determine the focus of the programme, developed with active involvement of stakeholders, placing the voice of households that are vulnerable to financial difficulties at the centre. This process was led by a joint project team from the Big Lottery Fund and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with close input from HM Treasury, the Department for Work and Pensions, and the FCA.
In August 2018, Government announced the focus for this funding in the Civil Society strategy. The funds have been directed towards Fair4All Finance Limited which will be responsible for deploying up to £55 million of funding from Dormant Assets. The organisation has been tasked primarily with addressing the problem of access to affordable credit and alternatives in order to create a positive social impact. This intervention is expected to make a step change in the reach of affordable credit to individuals in vulnerable circumstances in society over the next decade and beyond. The organisation will also explore ways to help people protect themselves against income shocks, such as through insurance and encouraging savings habits.
In order to have an enduring legacy and to meet the needs of these challenges, Fair4All Finance Limited has been set up independently from Government as a company limited by guarantee. The leadership of Fair4All Finance will determine how best to deliver the intentions set out in the Civil Society Strategy and this will encompass a range of activities, in particular making investments, as well as grant making, market development and improving the data and understanding of the key issues.
Fair4All Finance are aiming to bring in co-funding from a range of investors, including the private sector. The organisation will need to support the development of new financing models and the development of affordable credit delivery capability. Partnerships with the financial services sector and financial inclusion sectors will be crucial for delivering strategic long-term change to the provision of affordable credit, and Fair4All Finance is committed to developing these partnerships. It will also explore the development of strategic partnerships with housing associations, as potential partners who deal with many customers at risk of financial exclusion. Fair4All Finance will work with key regulators and other bodies, including the new Single Financial Guidance Body.
Fair4All Finance was established in February 2019. Richard Collier-Keywood was appointed as the Founding Chair and from September 2019, Sacha Romanovitch, the CEO.
The initial focus is on addressing the problem of access to affordable credit by providing support and funding for the affordable credit market. Fair4All Finance are currently running a pilot ‘Scale Up Programme’ of capability development for five organisations in the affordable credit sector. The aim of this pilot programme is to improve the access, availability and affordability of credit with an emphasis on enabling smaller lenders to scale up or to disrupt the sector more broadly. As part of this work, Fair4All Finance are also:
- Understanding the target market and the economics of intervention
- Exploring the possibility of employers providing low costs employee loans
- Developing a fair and affordable credit standard
- Convening investors in financial inclusion
- Exploring the fairness of credit scoring
In the longer term, Fair4All Finance plan to expand the portfolio of projects to potentially include:
- Supporting alternatives to credit such as the provision of furniture rental through Housing Associations.
- Supporting insurance initiatives that protect against income shocks or increase the scale of home contents cover.
- Developing programmes and interventions that encourage savings behaviour.
Find out more at www.fair4allfinance.org.uk