Government to give £55m from dormant accounts to new financial inclusion body

13 Mar 2019 News

Richard Collier-Keywood, chair of Fair4All Finance

The government will give a new organisation £55m from dormant accounts to tackle the issue of high-cost credit. 

The Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport announced its intention to allocate the money to financial inclusion initiatives last year.

Fair4All Finance is a company limited by guarantee and was registered at Companies House last month. 

In the Civil Society Strategy, the department then announced it would create an organisation responsible for deploying this money.

Now, Fair4All Finance has announced its name and appointed Richard Collier-Keywood as its chair.

The organisation has yet to decide on a full strategy but it plans to partner with housing associations and social enterprises that have community lending programmes and well as private lenders.

It also plans to work with charities that provide services for people who are in financial crisis.

However, a spokesperson for Fair4All Finance said it was unlikely that the organisation would launch a fund aimed at charities.

They said: “We will probably work with another organisation that is already giving money directly to charities.

“If we do launch a fund, it will probably be more targeted at reaching other responsible lenders.”

As well as using the £55m from dormant accounts, the organisation aims to bring in co-funding from a range of investors, including the private sector.

The organisation aims to make “more solid commitments” about how it plans to use its resources in the summer and become “fully operational” by the end of the year.

Collier-Keywood has been appointed as Fair4All Finance’s chair for the next four years, but the organisation is still in the process of recruiting a chief executive.

‘Pressing issue’

In the Civil Society Strategy, the government estimated that over three million customers in the UK currently use high cost credit instead of more affordable alternatives.

Collier-Keywood said: “The use of dormant assets money for financial inclusion presents a fantastic opportunity to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

“The issue of access to affordable credit is particularly pressing. Our challenge and opportunity is to deploy the funding to ensure that affordable credit, and other financial products and services, are positioned to increase financial wellbeing at scale.”

Mims Davies, minister for civil society, said: “The launch of Fair4All Finance is a key milestone in tackling financial exclusion and distributing funds to help those that need it the most.

“I am delighted that Richard has been appointed as founding chair, and look forward to working closely with him to make the organisation a great success.”

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