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The findings from the research provide an in-depth profile of credit use among people on low incomes. Drawing on their experiences of using credit, the study then looks at what low-income borrowers want from a credit source, the key features that their ‘ideal’ source of credit would include and the perspective of lenders on lending to those on low incomes. (The Policy Press, 2005)
This paper makes a case for bringing together credit unions, community finance and mainstream banking to tackle financial exclusion and stop predatory doorstep lenders. (Community Banking Partnership, 2004)
This paper explains the Community Banking Partnership (CBP) approach which has been co-developed over the last four years by some of Britain’s most innovative players in community finance. Robustly designed Community Banking Partnerships are creating financial inclusion, alleviating debt problems, preventing a reoccurrence of debt, and showing that there can be a net gain to the partners from investing in the process. (Community Banking Partnership, 2009)
The action research project, “Creating wealth in the West Midlands through sustainable Credit Unions”, marks a step forward in understanding the organisational development of British credit unions as quality financial institutions. The research report, “Towards Sustainable Credit Union Development” (Jones 1999), argued that credit unions needed to adopt a more business and professional approach if they were to realise their potential to serve low income communities effectively. It called for credit unions to develop business plans, to strengthen board leadership, to employ staff and to move into more professional premises. Despite early misgivings within certain sections of the movement, the business argument for credit union development is now generally accepted by government, by funders and by credit unions themselves. They have recognised that if credit unions are to achieve their social goals, they must succeed first as
businesses. (Liverpool John Moores University, 2005)
This Consumer Focus report focuses on the expansion of Credit Unions in the UK over the last decade, and the potential for growth. This growth has the potential to include migration into other services such as providing Jam Jar accounts to help mitigate the risks attached to universal credit. The report also examines the potential market for credit unions and how this can be reached, particularly through providing the service through the post office. The report is consumer-focussed and discusses consumer awareness of the role of credit unions as well as how they would like to see CUs fulfil this role.
Report appendix. (Community Finance Solutions, 2009)
This study looks at the feasibility of delivering insurance products through CDFIs. It explores this through focus groups with actual and target CDFI clients, reviewing insurance schemes aimed at the financially excluded and considering the regulatory framework for insurance provision. (Community Finance Solutions, 2009)
This research uses both qualitative and quantitative research methods, to examine both the impact and process of the Growth Fund to establish the wider implications of the initiative on financially excluded individuals, third sector lending institutions (Credit Unions / Community Development Finance Institutions) and other organisations delivering services to the financially excluded. (Financial Inclusion Taskforce, 2011)
The overall aim of this study was to identify and analyse the most effective policy measures taken by EU Member States, Acceding Countries and EFTA/EAA Countries in the area of financial services provision and the prevention of financial exclusion of people facing poverty or social exclusion. (European Commission, 2008)
The study is based on a two year action research project involving Penwith, First Dorset and Just (Shropshire) credit union staff and volunteers. It focuses on their experience and learning through the early days of their credit union experience. Through a process of reflection on the practice of developing their credit unions, staff and volunteers moved steadily in the direction of new model credit union development. The research found that, in order to operate successfully within a rural context, the structures, systems and resources of the new credit union development model are even more important than within the urban environment. This does not mean there is
one single blueprint of credit union organisation and structure that will work in all circumstances and in every rural location. Each credit union has to develop in a way appropriate to its context.
The new credit union development model, however, outlines a framework that underpins the establishment of safe and sound financial co-operatives in rural areas throughout the world. (Liverpool John Moores University, 2001)