Report: Responding to the financial crisis in our communities
23rd May: Banks urged: help our local communities respond to the crisis
The Chief Executives of Britain’s six largest banks were today asked to do much more to help local communities deal with the shockwaves from the financial crisis, and also to publish full details of their investment and service provision in poorer neighbourhoods.
The call for action follows the publication of a new report from the Centre for Responsible Credit which highlights:
- Only 3.5 – 4.5% of total lending to SMEs goes to businesses in our most deprived communities. This proportion has not changed for a decade.
- Bank failure to report on the provision of basic, essential financial services in poorer areas. Banks need to report on the number of free to use ATMs, basic bank accounts, levels of lending to and deposits from residents and the amounts they collect in fees and charges from low income communities.
- Banks do not report on levels of investment in the third sector. They need to demonstrate they are providing capital to support the Government’s localism agenda, for example by supporting transfer of public assets to community groups.
The Community Development Foundation is now leadinga coalition of agencies seeking an urgent meeting with the banks on these issues. Chief Executive Alison Seabrooke, said:
“We need to know banks are on our side – helping people to start their own business which will help stimulate economic growth; help households to get affordable credit instead of resorting to high cost lenders; help civil society to raise capital and expand their services for disadvantaged people who need them. In the wake of the financial crisis, trust in Britain’s banks is at an all time low. They need to respond by showing clearly that they are willing to help our local communities get back on their feet.”
For enquiries please contact:
Centre for Responsible Credit – Damon Gibbons on 07961 869473
Community Development Foundation – Jennifer Tankard, 07971 510085
Notes for Editors
The report is available here.
The coalition is made up of the following organisations:
The Centre for Responsible Credit (CfRC) is a dedicated unit established within the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion to: monitor the development of credit markets; research models of responsible provision, and promote policy responses which protect the long term interests of households.
CCLA provides the broadest range of funds designed specifically for charities. We are owned entirely by our charity, faith and local authority clients. We manage our business exclusively for their benefit. This puts us in a unique position to help not-for-profit organisations achieve their aspirations and enable trustees to meet their obligations. As pioneers of ethical and responsible investment, we are committed to pushing forward a positive agenda for change on behalf of our clients.
CDFA’s mission is to support the development of a thriving and sustainable community development finance (CDFI) sector that provides finance for disadvantaged and underserved communities and, as a consequence, contribute to the increasing prosperity of these communities.
The Community Development Foundation (CDF) is a social enterprise passionate about helping communities. We have unique expertise in using community development to strengthen local voices, improve people’s lives and create better places to live. Our vision is for successful lives in flourishing communities.