London’s Collaborative Model Calls for ‘Radical Change’
While credit union membership in London has grown more than 90% since 2005, there are concerns that reaching more low- and moderate-income residents who really need affordable financial services has been inadequate.
Paul Jones, a professor at Liverpool John Moores University’s Research Unit for Financial Inclusion, offered that insight in a new study he recently provided to Credit Union Times. Jones, along with Anna Ellison, research director at Policis, a London-based social and economic research firm, penned the report, “Community Finance for London-Scaling up the Credit Union and Social Finance Sector.”
“Where credit unions are strong, or display real entrepreneurial spirit, local authorities regard them as key partners and often have offered significant support; where they are weak and lacking in vision, some local authorities are less well disposed to supporting their development,” according to the study.
To build a stronger collaborative model, the report listed several suggestions based on feedback from local authorities including having a consistent identity in message and brand image and being more visible in London by adopting a social marketing approach which focuses on social as well as economic goals.