Financial exclusion – the lack of access to financial products and services that are affordable, transparent and fair – is unevenly spread across the country. For those living in places with high concentrations of bad credit options, it is more difficult to make choices that secure financial resilience.
Sadly, the impact of Covid-19 is likely to increase the number of people struggling to stay financially resilient.
Demos, the cross-party think tank, conducts an annual Good Credit Index to measure access to affordable credit across the country to understand these geographical discrepancies at a granular level, and inspire place-based approaches to tackle them.
Our Good Credit Index 2020 finds that physical credit environments are improving, with many bad credit options disappearing from the high street. However, the need for credit has grown and is likely to soar in 2020, so the lack of affordable credit options in many places remains a cause for concern.
Small and medium-sized industrial towns often suffer from a combination of low credit scores, high deprivation and credit need, and a physical environment that offers too few sustainable lending options and many tempting unsustainable ones.
Our Good Credit toolkit shares the learning from our Good Credit Project in South Yorkshire, a financial inclusion initiative in the Sheffield City Region. It sets out practical tips supported by case studies from the public, private and voluntary sectors and the city region mayor.
Local authority leaders and metro mayors can use the toolkit to tackle financial exclusion and boost resilience among residents, as part of rebuilding local economies and strengthening communities in the wake of Covid-19.
If you would like to find out more about our Good Credit work, including detailed local results from our index and how we can help you to lead action to promote financial inclusion where you are, please get in touch.