Inside Community Finance 2013 from the Community Development FInance Association is an illustrative document to frame the current CDFI landscape in the UK. In the report the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Sajid Javid MP, declares that there is still much to be done for the struggling SME.
On balance, however, the report shows the emergent strength of the CDFI movement and offers a road map for the immediate future, built on its past success.
CDFI’s lending to social ventures in the 2012/13 period makes for positive reading…although more is always better (Ed.) The community development institutions lent £13 million pounds to 204 social ventures, the report tells us, This created or protected 1,900 jobs and represented a 37% increase in lending over the previous twelve month period.
Lending to individuals was equally impressive. CDFIs lent £19 million to some 40,600 people, which diverted 29,000 people from higher cost lenders, and saved over £7 million pounds in interest payments for those individuals.
Interestingly, the report illustrates that Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR), providing a tax incentive for those who invest om accredited CDFIs, was not a major driver of capital growth for the CDFI industry. Perhaps the delivery of the Social Investment Tax Relief scheme (SITR) this year will drive more money in from the cold for social based lending?
You can also gain insights into the reach of the various CDFI initiatives in the document.
In 2013, 93% of CDFI business loan recipients had been turned down for finance by a bank. Fifty seven per cent of loan recipients had previously been unemployed.
The report, in terms of potential reach, also has something interesting to say about the engagement of CDFIs and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP). CDFIs are hopeful, that with the roll out of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), that CDFI/LEP partnerships can become active and effective.
At eighty pages Inside Community Finance 2013 is a lengthy document. But it is structured with data, forecasts and case studies that make the CDFI story a telling one. Whether you are looking for evidence of the CDFI impact at local, region, national or European level – there’s something of interest here.