We help people who often need support with opening an account to handle their income, either because they are financially excluded from banks, or because they want an alternative to banks.
Typically, referrals come from Jobcentres and support agencies whose customers have been refused bank accounts. Often, the person has been using informal arrangments such as paying their waged or benefits into someone else's bank account.
Social exclusion is another main reason why people need our help. Some are not capable of coping with banks, and we gently support them in learning to use modern methods of banking, some have been banned from banks for social reasons - their own behaviour or someone close to them. Typically, we are the provider of last resort.
Our volunteers and staff deal with challenging people and difficult circumstances every week, and know we make a huge difference.
About half of our 4,500 members live or work in Peterborough, the rest in the Waveney Valley. More than 1,000 have told us they were excluded from banks, they use our prepaid debit card to receive wages or benefits. Most of the transactions are electronic transfers. Very little of the work is lending related its mainly processig people's money and encouraging them to budget
Open savings accounts
Open budgeting and Christmas club savings accounts
Provide a prepaid Debit card to people who cannot have a bank account
Provide small ethical loans to people who would otherwise go to illegal loan sharks or payday lenders