A Lancashire-based social business that lends money to customers largely sidelined by banks has been named Credit Today: Responsible Lender of the Year for the second year running.
Moneyline started out from one shop in Blackburn in 2002 and has grown to an operation of 10 branded branches in England and further five, trading as Moneyline Cymru, in Wales, employing a total of 60 staff.
In 2011, more than £7.5 million was lent in modest sums, typically less than £500, to more than 13,500 customers.
Moneyline chief executive Ian Clough said two thirds of their borrowers are unemployed and almost half are lone parents, who mostly live in rented homes.
“We typically lend for Christmas, school clothes or trips, a replacement cooker or washing machine, sometimes a holiday,” he said.
“These are not big sums but they make an enormous impact on the quality of life and standard of living of our customer.”
Mr Clough added: “As a social business we have no private shareholders to satisfy, no bonus culture, nor do we employ a target-driven approach to lending.”