FINANCE NEWS: Savings scheme to offer bank services to under-privileged

Financially excluded housing association tenants in Edinburgh are to be offered the chance to save and borrow money as a result of a new partnership between Prospect Community Housing and Bank of Scotland Community Banking.

The Prospect Plus savings and loans scheme will operate from Prospect's offices in the deprived Wester Hailes area of the city.

Tenants will be able to open a savings account and apply for loans of up to £2,000 after they have saved a sufficient amount.

Two kinds of loan will be available: a standard loan of up to four times the customer's savings account balance with an interest rate of 7.75 per cent, and an emergency loan of up to £300 with an interest rate of 10.75 per cent.

Carol Cawood, director of Prospect Community Housing, said the schemes would be available to people who might want to borrow money but do not qualify for a regular bank loan or a credit card.

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