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Financial Inclusion Fund

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress he has made with the establishment of a growth fund to support third sector lenders as part of the Financial Inclusion Fund. (98680)

I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the Growth Fund in October 2005. £34 million of the £36 million fund has now been allocated to 71 organisations (mostly credit unions) that are currently delivering the affordable credit service. We expect to commit the remainder of the fund by November, when agreements are finalised with those organisations that were not ready to start delivery of the service until January 2007. At 30 September, over 1,300 loans with a total value of over £500,000 had already been issued to financially excluded people.