Hollywood actor Michael Sheen backs Scottish fair loans scheme

Written by Kate Shannon on 23 January 2018 in News

Michael Sheen has backed a campaign to help Scotland’s poorest people break free of high cost credit and give them access affordable loans

Michael Sheen: Picture credit - Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Hollywood actor Michael Sheen has backed a campaign to help Scotland’s poorest people break free of high cost credit and give them access affordable loans.

The Carnegie UK Trust’s £1m affordable credit loan fund will allow Scottish social enterprises to increase the availability of affordable loans on a not-for-profit basis.

Delivered in partnership with Social Investment Scotland, the fund is available to social lenders to help them expand their loan book and reach many more vulnerable people.

Sheen said: “High cost credit has for too long been targeted at those who can least afford it and those who are most vulnerable in our society.

“The need for ethical alternative providers is clear, whether they be on our local high streets or available online.

“But it’s not just about creating more providers – we need to do more to enable them to compete with the high cost providers and to provide vital financial support to communities across the UK, putting people before profit.”

The actor also features in a new short film to mark the arrival of the fund.

The Carnegie UK said it is estimated that around 150,000 people in Scotland borrow £250m from high cost lenders like pay day loan firms, door step lenders and rent-to-own shops annually.

Scottish Equalities Secretary Angela Constance said: “I welcome this pledge to increase access to affordable credit and provide a clear alternative to institutions and organisations, such as payday lenders, that can often charge extortionate interest rates and can leave people trapped in a cycle of debt. 

“That is why it is so important that social lenders, such as Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) and credit unions – are providing more affordable loans, where it is appropriate, at significantly cheaper interest rates than commercial alternatives.”

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