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The years since the turn of the century have been ones of growth and modernisation in the credit union sector. In 2000, there were 687 credit unions with 325,000 members, lending £175 million and with total assets of £214 million.
With over 200 people attending across the Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFI) industry, as well as across the private, public and public sectors, there was an undeniable buzz around Community Finance 2015 – the CDFA’s annual conference – at the Grand Connaught Rooms last month.
Since the financial crisis of 2008 there have been significant changes in access to credit. Much has been written about difficulties faced by small businesses, and the behaviour of banks withdrawing from small loans and (perceived) high risk investments.
A priest, a rabbi and an imam walked into a bank. It sounds like the start of a bad joke, but in fact it was the start of a very effective campaign.
Soon after the financial crisis hit in 2008, the most pressing issue on everyone’s mind was how our finance sector could be reformed so that a meltdown of this degree would never again occur and economic stability could return to the UK.
Community Energy will remain the domain of wealthy areas where volunteers (often professionals and retired) muster up the enthusiasm, knowledge and community spirit to deploy and finance a low carbon technology, for the benefit of the community.
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