The use of consumer credit by people from minority ethnic groups is more limited than is justified by their financial circumstances, according to a recent survey by researchers at the Policy Studies Institute. They examined the pattern of credit use among the African-Caribbean, Pakistani and Bangladeshi
communities and found that:
- Community-based savings and loans schemes primarily meet the needs of those in low-paid work and are often inaccessible to people living on benefits.
- Across all three communities, access to commercial credit is constrained by language difficulties, lack of knowledge of the credit industry and alleged racism.
- The authors conclude that new legislation is not required to deal with the variety of unlicenced practices observed in the study. It requires a combination of enforcement and, above all, increased access to cheaper forms of credit both through licenced commercial lenders and community based savings and loans schemes.