By Daniel Hunter
Local lenders are celebrating a breakthrough in their campaign for fair access to finance across the UK, following the government’s announcement that banks will publish lending data from January.
Revealing the postcodes where banks lend will, for the first time, paint a very clear picture of where the gaps are. Local community lenders can then better target these areas, to ensure everyone can get hold of the finance they need.
The CDFA represents a national network of local community lenders. CEO Ben Hughes commented: “This is a major breakthrough that we’ve sought for many years. Having accurate and robust data will enable Government, banks, other investors and the community lending sector itself, to address the significant gaps in lending that exist in our disadvantaged communities. It will bring wealth to neighbourhoods that aren’t currently served by the mainstream.
“Our members exist specifically to help communities that others don’t. Now we can be very clear on where those communities are and what help they need.
“We look forward to working closely with government and banks, to invest in these communities, and to securing the capital necessary to do this.
“Our members will of course also reveal their lending data. We call for high cost credit companies to do the same. Only then will we really see the type and availability of financial services across the country.”
The CDFA is part of the Community Investment Coalition, which has been campaigning for disclosure of bank lending data on a postcode level. This has been likened to the US Community Reinvestment Act which has driven investment into disadvantaged communities.
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