Make a big difference helping others in Essex
What is Ethical Community Investment?
It’s a way for you to help other Essex people. People who don’t, currently, have savings of their own and find it difficult, perhaps even impossible, to access mainstream lending.
As a result if, say, their cooker needs replacing or some other family emergency comes along, they may be forced to do business with the likes of payday lenders – often at interest rates of 1,000 to 3,000% APR.
So by placing some of your savings with Essex Savers, you would be helping to make a big difference to your local community. Simply by providing capital that we can then lend to people who need it most. And, when compared to doorstep and payday lenders, our rates - ranging from 1% to 3% a month (12.68% to 42.6% APR) - are much fairer.
As well as preventing a temporary money problem from spiralling out of control, you will also be demonstrating the benefits of having savings. It’s our aim to encourage our borrowers to become savers too. And, in time, perhaps they too can help someone avoid the need to borrow from a payday lender?
What would this cost me?
If you’re already an Essex Savers member it costs nothing to make an investment. If you’re not yet a member there’s a joining fee of £5. An Ethical Community Investment has been likened to giving to charity, except the money is still yours and can be returned when you need it. (Payment is, usually, made on the day we receive a signed withdrawal form but please allow 5 working days for this to be completed.)
Although you would, probably, be giving up some interest on the money you place with Essex Savers (on a £1,000 investment, this could be between, say, £10 to £15 per year before tax), the Community Benefit this money would provide - when set against the interest our members could save - is likely to be between £250 and £500 per year.
Also, as a member of Essex Savers, you would be eligible to share in any future profits we might make - by way of an annual dividend.
Is my money safe?
Yes. Just like any bank or any other credit union, Essex Savers is fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority and deposits are guaranteed under The Financial Services Compensation Scheme ("FSCS") up to £85,000 per person.
What do I do next?
Simply click here to download the application form.
Whilst there isn’t a minimum investment amount, clearly, the more you are willing to save with us (up to a maximum of £15,000) the more Essex people we will be able to help.
By providing capital for us to lend to those that need it most, you will be helping to make a big difference to the lives of other Essex people. And, because we use the interest earned to help make more loans, the social impact of your investment never really ends.
Ethical Community Investment was previously known as Project 250 – a campaign to encourage 250 people (living or working in Essex) to transfer £1,000 or more from existing savings to help Essex Savers help more Essex people. As at April 2015 Project 250 helped to raise over £108,000.