dwp growth fund evaluation credit union expansion project feasibility study n.
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DWP Growth Fund Evaluation Credit Union Expansion Project Feasibility Study. Growth Fund began in July 2006 and ended in March 2011 £101.35m invested in loans, delivery costs, training and infrastructure

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growth fund evaluation

Growth Fund began in July 2006 and ended in March 2011

£101.35m invested in loans, delivery costs, training and infrastructure

£175 million of loans has saved over £140 million in interest payments – compared to higher cost loans

Delivery costs have come down BUT most lenders still do not cover costs

The Feasibility Study is testing the opportunity for balanced expansion that can lead to sustainability

Growth Fund Evaluation
growth fund evaluation1
Growth Fund Evaluation

Benefits of Growth Fund for Customers

  • Analysis of Growth Fund borrowers (compared to matched groups in deprived non GF areas) estimated total interest savings per borrower at between £377 and £425 over the lifetime of their current credit obligations
  • 50% of borrowers had another form of borrowing as well as a GF loan, although some of the most common types of borrowing did not incur interest charges (e.g. Social Fund and friends and family)
  • 32% considered that they had borrowed less from any other source since first taking out a loan with a GF lender
growth fund evaluation2
Growth Fund Evaluation

Benefits of Growth Fund for Customers

  • 87% attributed this change in borrowing behaviour directly to their contact with a GF lender
  • 29% had savings in a savings account, whereas previously they had none
  • 39% felt their money management skills were better since they had started using a credit union
  • 41% felt they were more in control of their finances, and
  • 39% were less worried about money generally
growth fund evaluation3
Growth Fund Evaluation

Benefits of Growth Fund for Credit Unions

  • All GF credit unions reported they had considerably increased membership and GF, and non GF, lending levels
  • 80% reported their organisation had improved its working practices as a result of GF and now operated in a more business-like way
  • FSA data records an increase of 226K in credit union adult membership from 554K in 2006 to 780K in 2010. We estimate that c.165K of this was generated by GF
  • Latest CU adult membership stands at more than 900K
universal credit credit unions serve people
Universal Credit - Credit Unions Serve People
  • A key aspect of Universal Credit is that it should mimic work and receipt of a salary
  • Government wants to place responsibility for household budgeting with the household
  • Research suggests that Government interference in household budgeting undermines individual responsibility (Wikeley, Ogus and Barendt’s - The Law of Social Security)
  • Universal Credit replaces means tested benefits and tax credits
  • Credit unions help people manage money better and feel in control
credit union expansion project

Credit Unions and DWP achieved a lot through the GF, but

more needs to be done to secure expansion and cost reduction through modernisation for them to become sustainable

Building on GF, DWP is continuing to support credit unions for four more years through the CU Expansion Fund of £73M

A Feasibility Study will report to Ministers in October on the best ways to fund to secure sustainable expansion and modernisation

Ministers and PSC are positive that change can be achieved

Credit Union Expansion Project
credit union expansion project the first 6 months

DWP is managing a feasibility study to find and test solutions to the issues of expansion and modernisation

The study is led by a Project Steering Group (PSC) that will report to Lord Freud (Minister for Welfare Reform) in early October

PSC is chaired by Deanna Oppenheimer, CEO Barclay’s Bank Western Europe. Experian has been appointed to support the study

Credit Unions and CDFIs that held a DWP contract and met our performance requirements continue to deliver financial services on our behalf whilst the study is being conducted

Credit Union Expansion Project - the first 6 months
credit union expansion project the first 6 months1
Credit Union Expansion Project - the first 6 months
  • DWP credit unions and CDFIs are making good progress while the feasibility study progresses
  • From April to June 45,000 loans worth £20m have been made
  • Exceeding targets by 5000 loans and £2.5m
psc terms of reference
PSC Terms of Reference
  • To advise on the objectives of the project
  • To advise on the specification of the feasibility study
  • DWP manages the commercial relationship with the contractor
  • PSC advises on the challenges and opportunities to be studied
  • PSC will advise Lord Freud whether the evidence of the study supports the investment of £73m in a longer term project
feasibility study objectives

To create access to a common range of financial services for a million more people on lower incomes

To offer modern financial services through credit unions, customer service centres, and ideally across Post Office counters

To expand and modernise credit unions capable of delivering these services so they may become sustainable within 5 years

The study recognises the need for minimum standards of customer service to attract a balanced portfolio of credit union members to support the drive for sustainability

Feasibility Study Objectives
challenges facing the sector
Challenges Facing the Sector
  • Significant expansion will be achieved through better products, improved services, and improved processes and systems
  • These will create expansion and drive down costs if implemented in harmony and carefully managed
  • New products are needed by more people: budgeting accounts, fairer short term/payday loans, cheaper pre paid cards as a step towards banking for those who find accounts hard to manage
  • A wider range of customers is needed to support sustainability
  • New products and improved services will attract people in employment for whom the banks offer few attractive services
the cost of serving cu members in gb is high
The cost of serving CU members in GB is high
  • Low value loans and savings in GB are a major challenge
  • High volume low value transactions are costly
  • In contrast, the loans to savings ratio is much less of an issue for successful CUs worldwide
  • The case for action is clear
what s happening now and next
What’s Happening Now and Next ?
  • Consumer research: how many need the services, what priority do they attach to the different services, what income levels ?
  • Credit union consultation
  • Process engineering: how loans are made, the cost of making and recovering loans, whether systems can reduce costs
  • Systems design: what products and services delivered by which systems ? The cost of systems ? Compatibility with ‘as is’ ?
  • Stake holder consultation: appetite for corporate membership, support, deposits and investment post LRO ?