Policy paper

Scaling community lenders: the role of social investment

This report examines how social investment could be used to help community lenders offer affordable finance to people on low incomes.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government



The community lending sector is diverse. It includes credit unions, personal lending Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) and other lenders, including housing associations. This report examines the potential role of social investment in this sector, by exploring 3 ideas:

  • community lenders have limited access to the capital they require to grow
  • community lenders have an immediate need for investment
  • social investment can play a role in meeting some of this demand
Published 8 January 2015