MAS welcome Carnegie Trust report
This past week, the Carnegie Trust published its Affordable Credit Working Group report with the headline finding that credit remains most expensive for those who can least afford it.
The report, entitled Gateway to Affordable Credit, calls for urgent action to be taken in Scotland’s approach to its credit industry to break the cycle of financial exclusion experienced by many of the country’s most deprived citizens.
Amongst the recommendations in the report is the call for the Scottish Government to assign ministerial responsibility for financial inclusion and for high street banks to allow borrowers to access basic bank accounts via local credit unions or community development financial institutions (CDFIs).
Money Advice Scotland were members on the Affordable Credit Working Group which included representatives from the credit industry, the third sector and civil society.
Commenting on the publication, Yvonne MacDermid said:
“Money Advice Scotland was pleased to be a part of the Working Group and endorses the recommendations of the report.
“As personal debt levels continue to move towards levels last seen during the financial crisis, it is particularly concerning that those with the least continue to pay the most when it comes to accessing credit.
“There can be little doubt of the impact of the FCA’s crackdown on the regulation of high cost short term lending with the Consumer Finance Association reporting a 70 per cent drop in this type of lending under the new regulations.
“It is less clear, however, where these people are now going as the need for affordable credit continues to grow.
“Reports of a surge in illegal lending will concern everyone working to address financial exclusion in Scotland and this underlines the importance of ensuring that people living in our poorest communities have access to fair and affordable credit."
The Working Group's report was the product of more than a year spent analysing financial inequality. Following its publication, the Scottish Government also welcomed the report and reiterated the importance of financial inclusion in creating a fairer, more prosperous society.
Read the full Carnegie Trust report here
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