The Campaign for Fair Finance™ actively lobbies the finance industry to improve how customers are treated and ultimately to improve fairness throughout.
The Campaign does this by engaging with the commentators, reviewing regulation changes and through leadership. We do it by saying what the industry should be aiming to do, how it could do it and what the likely outcome of doing or not doing it is.
We realise that we cannot do this alone. We aim to conduct the Campaign as a live collaborative inquiry, launching consultations, researching issues and delivering surveys and reports. We’re making films with a wide stakeholder group to explore and promote viable pilot schemes, and raise the profile of all voices in the debate to a level playing field.
The goal here is not simply to gather consultative advice, but to run a Campaign that actively, practically and publicly addresses the salient issues in the industry and promotes good practice through regular engagements with the media.
A lot of what is happening in the world of finance, as we see it today, is as a reaction to the Financial Crisis of 2007.
Following 2007 the appetite for taking any financial risk, within banks and/or other financial institutions decreased dramatically, with many simply shutting up shop. Others simply stopped lending to those customers they deemed at being a higher risk, moving the goal posts by changing score cards and criteria.
As well as those with already “poor Credit Scores” being classed as nonprime, 2007 also re-categorised many customers, causing them to fall into high risk simply by banks changing how customers were scored. Others became “high risk” due to losing their jobs and falling behind with credit payments.
The consequences of 2007 left over 50% of the UK population being classed as “Non-Prime”.
Consumers started to apply directly to lenders which brought about the rise of alternative High Cost Short Term Credit (HCSTC) products i.e. Payday Loans. Many of these offered very little consumer protection as few checks were carried out. Also, rates offered were higher than many consumers profiles deserved and were taken out by customers without knowing what alternatives were available to these High Cost Products. All of this created a problem within society that the market/industry was not solving or looking to solve.
However, whoever shouts the loudest, by having the largest advertising budget, becomes the most popular loan product/provider. We want to change that by raising the profile of fair lenders.
Leading by Example
The Campaign has a core aim to support a sustainable society. We want to help the industry work towards providing credit to those who most need it, and to those who are at risk of falling into unfair practices because of their lack of product awareness and/or their desperate need for cash.
At the same time we aim to bring together key stakeholders involved in the sector – lenders, consumer groups, charities and parliamentarians – to produce real change in industry practice.
We think there is a post-crash need for business to take a more responsible role in supporting the society in which it operates. Putting fairness at the heart of our campaign urges others to take responsibility for their actions, both in their product design and by making credit more appropriately accessible to/and for the consumer.
We hope to rebuild the compact between business and society with a more responsible industry and better informed customers.
Fairness is a simple principle, and one that most people will sign up to. However, turning a general agreement into action is what we have to make happen.
“The Power to make a change, to make a positive change and to make a lasting change, well that power is in all our hands. Together through the Campaign for Fair Finance™ we can really make a difference” – Dr Roger Gewolb Founder of the Campaign for Fair Finance™
The Campaign for Fair Finance™