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YOUR VIEW; Today Amy Baker, Executive Support Assistant, Five Lamps, tells us how it's strengthening its loans offerings.

Byline: Amy Baker

FIVE Lamps has made a strategic senior management team appointment as it looks to strengthen its business and personal loans offering as it expands its financial services into Scotland.

The charity also has a trading arm that is known as a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI).

CDFIs are specialist enterprise financial institutions dedicated to delivering responsible and affordable lending to help low-income, low-wealth and other disadvantaged people and communities join the economic mainstream.

As a CDFI, responsible lending is critical and a Five Lamps Conduit loan provides access to fair, affordable finance and it comes with an APR and terms that are more financially viable for people with low income who may have poor credit history.

Sara O'Brien has been brought into the organisation in this newly created role to lead on the business development strategy. She is working with Five Lamps' Chief Executive and two directors to develop and grow the business as a CDFI.

Sara said, "This is a particularly exciting time for Five Lamps as it expands its operations nationally having procured a highprofile project with three local authorities in Scotland to deliver a loans service that underpins the wider financial inclusion strategy of the Fife, Falkirk and West Lothian councils.

"Conduit Scotland is the brand name and the launch of four shops will take place in July and August."

Graeme Oram, Five Lamps CEO, said, "We're delighted to have Sara on board and her appointment coincides with our commitment to grow the CDFI status of our organisation and open up access for households by providing an affordable way to access much needed finance."

Five Lamps also offers finance to people who are keen to start up a business in partnership with a national Start Up Loans government-backed scheme. Sara will be working on designing commercialised offers of enterprise services including access to finance and business support services aimed at helping new business owners.

| Online applications can be made at www.conduit.org.uk or by calling the call centre on 0300 111 0556.

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 27, 2017
Words:430
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