Finance: New account will help the excluded

Charity Bank has launched a new savings account aimed at helping the financially excluded and providing loan finance for charities.

The StreetSmart account diverts a proportion of its deposits to Street UK, which gives loans to financially excluded people in the West Midlands. The partnership means Street UK will receive £20,000 a year for every £1m amassed by savers.

The account takes advantage of the Government's Community Investment Tax Relief scheme, which gives depositors a tax rebate because their money helps deprived areas. Savings are used to provide affordable loans to charity and community organisations.

Both the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Association of British Credit Unions have said that community-based loan organisations need to vastly expand their ability to deal with financial exclusion.

KEY POINTS

- New Charity Bank account helps financial exclusion charity Street UK

- Depositors get tax relief thanks to Government's Community Investment Tax Relief

- Savings will help provide loans to charities and groups unable to access mainstream lending.

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