The Community Banking Partnership developed by NEF, NACUW and Community Finance Solutions has drawn on the practical expertise of those working in the front line of financial exclusion.

It brings together credit unions, the community finance sector, mainstream banks and money advice agencies for the first time to deliver a one-stop-shop’ approach to financial inclusion.

Traditionally, doorstep’ lenders have been closer, louder and more immediately available. By joining up, and scaling up alternative finance, the CBP will offer a viable, easily accessible alternative for the most vulnerable.

It will offer financially excluded households a seamless service that is focussed on individual need, providing money advice and support that will help improve financial literacy, help with bill and debt repayments, and also deliver savings facilities, affordable loans and access to basic banking services in groundbreaking new partnerships across the UK.

The first of these is now underway in Birmingham, with another six regional areas being considered across England and Wales.