Just Finance London

The Background

Financial distress has a hugely detrimental effect both on individuals and on local communities. The problem has two key dimensions; it is both systemic and personal. In system terms, the issue is the availability and quality of financial services and products that meet people’s needs.

Just Finance London is working to help churches respond to the issues of credit, debt and money worries in the communities they serve.

Just Finance London is part of a wider national movement across dioceses in England, Just Finance builds on the Church Credit Champions Network pilot

Just FInance London aims to unlock the resources of local churches to strengthen financial resilience in communities through support for:

  • Community finance
  • Signposting to debt and money advice
  • Building financial capability
  • Campaigning for a fairer financial system

It also aims to raise systemic and structural problems that cause people to struggle with money, and help the church respond to these challenges across the Diocese of London.

The issue

Financial exclusion is very real, and nowhere more so than in this great, but expensive city of London.

  • 2.3 million Londoners- about 27%- are living in poverty- after housing costs in 2017
  • Over half a million of those living in London are classed as being “over-indebted”- struggling to keep up with payments and falling into debt
  • Londoners in debt have worse levels of debt than elsewhere in the UK- and higher arrears on essential bills and face a greater struggle to make ends meet.

More than 1 in 3 of clients seeking help with debt in London were in rent arrears. The amount of rent they owed was half as much again as the UK average (Source)

The number of working-age adults in poverty in London has increased from 1.1 million to 1.4 million in the past decade. (Source)

21% of people living in London are paid below the London Living Wage. (Source)

The Rt Revd Adrian Newman

The Rt Revd Adrian Newman The Bishop of Stepney

“In the UK 7 million people are currently hooked into high-cost borrowing. 1 million people take out a payday loan each month. Levels of personal debt have spiralled beyond what most of us think is healthy or wise in a civilised society. And the human cost of all of this is felt in increasing ill-health (physical and mental), relationship breakdown, and fractured communities. Something needs to change if we are to flourish.

I hope that parishes across London will engage seriously with the issue of money, which affects people’s lives more significantly that anything else. The Just Finance Network can help you know where to begin, and make a practical difference in people’s lives.”

Meet Alison Tsang

Alison Tsang

Alison Tsang Just Finance London Development Worker

Alison’s role is to raise awareness and participation from churches across the Diocese in tackling the issues of financial exclusion. She works alongside churches to help them respond to the needs they are seeing, whether that be for debt advice, access to affordable credit, money management or other responses.

She also offers support and training around specific issues as they arise on a Diocese-wide level.

She’s always happy to have a chat, tea or coffee if you want to find out more or have any questions in this area.

Email: alison@capitalmass.org.uk

Call: 07864 876323

Twitter: CM_JustFinance