We need to talk about credit.

Our Project Inclusion webinar sponsored by Mastercard was hosted on the 22nd of April 2021.

We were joined by a fantastic panel of expert speakers who answered some challenging questions on all things credit whilst dissecting the elephant in the room; is selling credit as sinful as it is often perceived? Is it inevitable that credit drives people into further debt? What makes some credit ‘good’ and some ‘bad’?

Highlights include:

  • Insight of what the next 5 years looks like for the consumer credit market
  • An analysis of what the fintech industry, regulators or social organisations can do to ensure all consumers can access credit when they want it, and access credit that meets their needs and is affordable for them to repay
  • An exploration on how the government has been successful at subsidising interest-free credit to those in need across the U.K. both during the pandemic with things like bounceback loans and through welfare schemes like the ‘social fund’ that has provided a final safety net for over a decade

 

Speakers include:

We need to unpack the ethics of how credit decisions are made by lenders through the use of  AI. Today credit worthiness is largely decided by AI, manufactured by male engineers who code the algorithms with their own bias. There is an issue in diversity of credit access due to this.” – Karen Elliott, Associate Professor, Newcastle University

Credit is not a sin and borrower data is meaningless without context. No lender would ever lend on the premise that applicants would not repay. We have to move on from the stereotype that all credit providers are predators.– Jos Henson Grič, Founder, Flex Money

Let’s get away from the moralist views of credit. 1 in 5 adults use an overdraft or high-cost loans, often to cover essential living expenses and 45% of households wouldn’t make it for 3 months without some form of borrowing facility. These people and their families would otherwise have to go without basic essentials: putting food on the table, paying the rent or to send their kids on a school trip.” – Chris Pond, Chairman, Lending Standards Board

As a nation, the UK is the envy of the world. Not only do we have a progressive regulator focused on driving competition and security for the consumer; we have a government serious about social welfare reform. We are also the birthplace of the Fintech revolution and innovation like open banking. All of these makes the UK a beacon for financial inclusivity and provides huge opportunity for the Fintech community to improve lives.– Neil Harris, Chair at The Inclusion Foundation

 

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