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18 May 2012

Moneyline voted Responsible Lender of the Year 2012

A social business that lends money to a customer largely ignored and unwanted by banks has scooped the prestigious “Credit Today: Responsible Lender of the Year 2012” for the second consecutive year.

Moneyline Cymru has five high street outlets in South Wales whose aim is to provide affordable loans to people who can’t access mainstream financial services. The total number of completed loans in Wales has exceeded 9,000 with total lending to date exceeding £4.2million. 80 percent of customers have also opened savings accounts, with customer deposits exceeding £150,000.

Housing Associations in Wales were instrumental in setting up and part financing Moneyline Cymru along with Community Housing Cymru – the membership body for housing associations in Wales.

Most customers use Moneyline in preference to higher cost home-collected credit that charges around £82 on top of every £100 issued. For new customers Moneyline charges around half of this rate, and for longer term customers around a quarter.

The five high street shops in Cardiff, Bridgend, Pontypridd, Newport and Cwmbran all have in-house money advisors thanks to funding by the Big Lottery and a sixth shop is due to open in Merthyr Tydfil later this year.

Moneyline Cymru Chair, Nigel Draper said: “Two out of every three customers are unemployed, almost half are lone parents and nine in ten rent – we typically lend for Christmas, school clothes or trips, a replacement cooker or washing machine, sometimes a holiday. These are not big sums but they make an enormous impact on the quality of life and standard of living of our customer.”

“We recognise the need for flexibility and building a relationship with customers, that means higher transactional costs to cover the cost of lending but as a social business we have no private shareholders to satisfy, no bonus culture, nor do we employ a target driven approach to lending. We are committed to extending Moneyline Cymru across Wales over the next 12 months. I believe what we do is responsible lending and I’m delighted for our staff that others recognise it as such”.

Moneyline believe that their way of doing business matters. There’s no minimum borrowing amount, and only a handful borrow more than £1,000. The salary ratio from top earner to bottom is just 3:1.

Moneyline was presented with a unique opportunity in 2011 to work with Social Business Trust (consisting of Permira, Credit Suisse, Thomson Reuters, Bain & Co. Clifford Chance and Ernst & Young). Social Business Trust has provided a package of cash and in-kind support to improve efficiencies and enable Moneyline to provide services to more customers.

Moneyline is currently actively seeking loan capital from banks, trusts and social philanthropists to deliver more loans to people who cannot access realistically priced credit elsewhere. It is also in discussion to provide low cost home contents insurance to those customers that need it.