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In this edition, a national marketing campaign launched by Good Shepherd Microfinance and NAB shines spotlight on safe and affordable alternatives to high cost fringe lenders.

A new survey released today by NAB confirms that one in five people live pay to pay.

NILS and StepUP launched in New Zealand with support from Bank of New Zealand, the Ministry of Social Development, and The Salvation Army.

And our response to the FSI Interim Report strongly argues for RBA to fund development of microfinance initiatives as they drive national growth.

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A new awareness campaign called ‘Stop small problems getting big’ is set to put microfinance in the spotlight.
 
The campaign was launched by Good Shepherd Microfinance CEO, Adam Mooney, and NAB Group CEO, Andrew Thorburn, at an event at Good Money in Collingwood today.
 
“People who find themselves in difficult financial situations often seek quick fixes such as selling their possessions or getting a high cost payday loan. While satisfying the immediate need, these solutions can lead to bigger problems down the track,” said Adam.
 
This innovative campaign is the result of our partnership with NAB and our shared commitment to ensuring that everyone has access to safe and fair finance in times of need. It will feature on television, radio, print and online advertisements right across Australia during September and October.
 
“A loan is more than money.  It’s a vote of confidence that makes you feel valued and empowered to stand on your own two feet. NAB is the only bank to have taken real action on the issue of financial exclusion by providing $130 million in loan capital to microfinance - not just because it’s doing the right thing.  We believe in helping more people to become financially successful and through this, supporting our nation to prosper,” said Andrew.

Watch our TV commercial and visit www.goodloans.org.au for more information.
ONE IN FIVE PEOPLE LIVING PAY TO PAY
Almost 20 per cent of adults in Australia are living pay to pay according to a new survey released today. The survey, commissioned by NAB and conducted by Newspoll, found that;
  • Almost one in five adults in Australia (18.7 per cent) rarely or never have any money left at the end of a pay cycle
  • People living in regional areas (22.7 per cent) are more likely to be caught short at the end of a pay period than those living in capital cities (16.4 per cent)
  • 16.4 per cent of people sold something they owned when they found themselves without money at the end of a pay cycle, while the most common solution was to access savings (70 per cent) or use a credit card (40 per cent)
  • A dental or medical expense (46.1 per cent) was the most common unexpected expense experienced by respondents in the last 12 months, followed by a higher than expected household bill (42.3 per cent) and car repairs (40.3 per cent)
For more information read the media release.
JOHN'S NOT A NUMBER AT GOOD MONEY
John never expected to find himself in need of a little extra support. He has a background in Rapid Situation Assessment in various countries across South-East Asia and Australia. But, after a divorce and some very serious health issues he found that “life can be cruel, especially with banks”.
 
Unfortunately John had acquired a bad credit rating and was told he would have to wait five to seven years until he could apply for a loan from a bank.

“So many people need access to credit, and just can’t get it, but Good Money provides an option for me and so many others,” says John.
 
"You are a person with Good Money. I'm not a number - I'm John."

Read full story...
FIRST INSURANCE CLIENTS TRIAL NEW PRODUCT
Our first two clients have joined the home contents insurance pilot which offers tailored insurance products for people on low incomes.
 
The Good Insurance program has been rolled out to 10 community organisations nationally who will trial a ‘fire and theft home contents’ insurance product for local residents. It providers cover for home contents for up to $25,000 for two of the most common loss events. A $100 standard excess applies in the event of a claim.
 
The pilot will help inform the development of a standalone product to be offered more widely throughout Australia via Good Shepherd Microfinance’s network of 257 community partners. 
 
The initiative is led by Good Shepherd Microfinance and insurer Suncorp Group and will run until early next year.
GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR FINANCIAL INCLUSION
In the last month our CEO, Adam Mooney, was invited to represent Good Shepherd Microfinance and Australia at the international forum of the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) and the Responsible Digital Finance Forum. Adam attended these events alongside Corinne Proske, Head of NAB Community Finance and Development, and participants from all around the world.

These events were a perfect opportunity to: connect with other leaders in inclusive finance, discuss progress with and next steps for the G20 in assisting countries to bring financial services to the 2.5 billion people and inform our work to further options for our clients by increasing our digital reach.

Click for more information about the GPFI.

Click for more information about the Responsible Digital Finance Forum.
RBA SHOULD FUND MICROFINANCE
Microfinance drives national growth and in our response to the Financial System Inquiry's (FSI) Interim Report, we strongly argued for Government and/or industry to facilitate further development of microfinance initiatives, in collaboration with the not-for-profit and community sector. We urged that the Final Report include a recommendation that there be a role for government in addressing the post-GFC failure of the market to achieve financial inclusion, and further recommend that this could be achieved by the RBA making a direct contribution and investment under its obligations. Here are our four main recommendations:
 
  1. Strengthening Microfinance and Alternative Financial Services Options to Encourage Economic Mobility
  2. Strengthening Focus on Financial Inclusion and Resilience
  3. Strengthening Protective Regulation
  4. Strengthening Community Banks and Credit Unions as Middle Ground
Our submission was published in the first batch released from 6,300 submissions. To join in the conversation on twitter, check out: #FSI #MurrayInquiry.
 
For reference, read the FSI interim report (pages 3-81 and 3-82 make specific reference to NILS).
NZ $10M COMMUNITY FINANCE INITIATIVE
Lots of smiling faces at the launch of StepUP in New Zealand with Minister Paula Bennett, BNZ's Michelle van Gaalen, Good Shepherd Sisters Teresa and Mary, and Salvation Army New Zealand Commissioner Robert Donaldson.
 
Bank of New Zealand (BNZ), Good Shepherd NZ, Ministry of Social Development and The Salvation Army have unveiled details of their community finance pilot designed to help people who sit on the margins of the banking system to improve their quality of life and increase their financial independence.
 
The pilot will see ‘StepUP’ loans of between $1,000 and $5,000 for a maximum of 36 months, made available to those who are on low incomes with the ability to repay. The interest rate for the StepUp loan is set at 6.99%. No Interest Loans (NILS) of up to $1,000 for a maximum of 18 months will also be available in the future.
 
The initial interest in setting up microfinance in NZ was sparked after a research report on child poverty. The key factors contributing to child poverty was that families couldn’t access affordable credit, with high cost credit taking up a large proportion of the family’s budget and therefore they were missing out on the essentials.
 
See the New Zealand StepUP webpage or the media release for more information.
IMPROVED ONLINE PRESENCE FOR NILS AND STEPUP
We have launched new client focused product pages for NILS and StepUP! Have a browse and let us know what you think. 

CONGRATULATIONS TO MONEYSMART WINNERS 
Our CEO and Deputy CEO standing proudly with NAB and Strategic Project Partners colleagues.

The awards, which took place in Sydney, recognise outstanding achievements in improving financial literacy in Australia. 

We received a Highly Commended award in the Community category, for our partnership with NAB and the Victorian Government on the Good Money program. As of 31 July, the three Good Money stores have had 10,465 enquiries and 1,439 loans.

The award judges shared that “Indeed an impressive partnership between government, commerce and the not-for profit sector, it being obvious that the involvement of all stakeholders is absolutely genuine and that they are constantly striving to improve all aspects of the program.”

We also received a Highly Commended award in the Community category, for our research report on financial inclusion and economic growth which was prepared by Strategic Project Partners.

Congratulations to everyone recognised by the awards including:

Dr Njau Gitu from the Africans Community Foundation Australia (ASCOF) NILS program, Women’s Health Goulburn North East for your NILS program and ‘Keep Your Boat Afloat’, Australian Tax Office, Australian Retail Credit Association, ANZ, Centacare Catholic Family Services Country SA, Insurance Council of Australia, Economics & Business Educators NSW, Sustainability Victoria, Wingham High School, The Salvation Army and St Vincent De Paul (Tasmania).

For more information