//Mayor and employers collaborating to transform financial wellbeing in South Yorkshire

Published 31st October 2019 at 10:46am
  • Think tank Demos, in association with Mayor Dan Jarvis MBE, has launched a project to significantly improve financial inclusion through transforming credit provision in South Yorkshire. 
  • The South Yorkshire Good Credit Project was launched at a roundtable bringing together key employers in the region, with the aim of supporting their employees to access affordable credit.

Demos, with the support of the Mayor of Sheffield City Region, Dan Jarvis MBE, has launched South Yorkshire Good Credit, a place-based financial inclusion initiative that aims to transform credit provision throughout the UK, starting with South Yorkshire.

The risk of uncontrollable debt from high cost credit can have a drastically negative impact on wellbeing, performance and attendance at work. Businesses supporting their employees to access fair, affordable credit can help reduce this risk. This is why the project is bringing together stakeholders from across sectors to co-design tailored initiatives to improve the credit environment in the region, starting with local employers.

To mark the launch of the project, a roundtable took place [on Monday 7 October] at Sheffield Hallam University, consisting of employers across the region. Employers heard how they can improve employee wellbeing and retention through practical solutions, which come at no cost to the employer.

The event was the first in a series to improve the credit environment in the region, making sure that affordable, sustainable and transparent credit is available to all.

The South Yorkshire Good Credit Project follows the launch of Demos’ groundbreaking Good Credit Index, which identified ‘credit deserts’ where people struggle to access affordable credit despite a clear need for it.

Demos will soon be opening nominations for the South Yorkshire Financial Inclusion Awards. The awards will celebrate people and organisations who are making financial products and services accessible and affordable, to support their communities.

Commenting on the new project, Mayor of Sheffield City Region, Dan Jarvis MBE, said: “Loans are essential for most people to go about their daily lives – from the big purchases such as a house, to day-to-day expenditures to get by.

“However, if people can’t access affordable credit, circumstances may force them to access short-term, high cost credit that is unaffordable. Missed payments and soaring interest rates then keep people in a cycle of bad credit from which it is difficult to escape.

“Through this exciting project, we aim to set an example for other parts of the country. If this work helps to free our communities from the cycle of bad credit, then it will also be a very welcome contribution to my ambition to tackle inequality, create good jobs and grow an inclusive economy.”