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The Oversight Trust

Assets for the Common Good



DATE: 16 January 2023                                            IMMEDIATE


Contact: Alan Ali at and 07403 147 311


Review of Fair4All Finance Published

An independent review of financial inclusion body Fair4All Finance details the non-profit's achievements to date and recognises that, given the scale and complexity of the problem being addressed, it is too early to judge fully the impact the organisation can have on tackling financial exclusion and the development of the market in affordable credit.

The review found that Fair4All Finance can credibly claim to have become a trusted and respected voice in the sector and can point to broad support across government and mainstream finance for its research and style of influencing institutions. It has also provided support to the community finance sector through a very challenging period.

The review notes that, as well as its activities supporting and investing in existing affordable credit providers, addressing financial inclusion requires systemic change for mainstream finance to play its necessary role in developing the provision of inclusive finance, including affordable credit. Changes in policy and regulation will also be required.

The Oversight Trust commissions a Quadrennial Review of the four companies receiving money under the Dormant Asset Scheme in England, one each year in turn. The review looks at the organisation's effectiveness in delivering against its mission. This year's review was of Fair4All Finance, the organisation set up by DCMS in 2019 to address the issue of financial inclusion.

The report identified five issues for Fair4All Finance's leadership to address in its planning for the future:

  • Focus on defining the impact it is targeting, given the complex bundle of issues around financial inclusion.
  • Develop its strategy for successful engagement with mainstream finance.
  • Address issues related to engagement with the community finance sector to help it grow.
  • Build on its positive start as a successful influencer.
  • Further develop its organisational effectiveness and transparency.


The Oversight Trust welcomes the actions detailed in Fair4All Finance's response to the report. and looks forward to further discussion of its plans and monitoring its progress in the context of the organisation's updated business plan.

Sir Stuart Etherington, Chair of the Oversight Trust, says:

"After a successful start, now is the time for Fair4All Finance to take stock and focus its strategy and define what are achievable goals."

"In three years, it has chalked up some notable successes including its coordination role in the No Interest Loan Scheme, providing grants in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its investments in the community finance sector"

"The report outlines a number of issues for Fair4All Finance to consider under five main headings covering its areas of work. We welcome Fair4All's commitments under each of these and look forward to further discussion of how these will be reflected in its business plan and progress will be monitored."

ENDS                                                                                                                   (445 words)

The Quadrennial Review of Fair4All Finance is available here

The Oversight Trust’s response to the Review is available here

Free4All Finance’s response to the Review is available here

Contact: Alan Ali at and 07403 147 311

Notes to editors:


Fair4All Finance'svision is of a society where the long-term financial wellbeing of all people is supported by a fair and accessible financial services sector. Its mission is to increase the financial resilience and wellbeing of people in vulnerable circumstances by increasing the availability of fair and affordable financial products and services.

To date, £100 million of dormant asset monies distributed from the Reclaim Fund has been allocated to the company to deliver on this mission of which £51.5 million has been drawn under a grant agreement (with National Lottery Community Fund and the Oversight Trust) since the formal approval of its business plan in late December 2019.



The Oversight Trustoversees the governance of all organisations that receive monies assigned as part of the English portion ofdormant assets fundingunder the Dormant Bank and Building Societies Act 2008 to ensure that they remain ‘on mission'. Big Society Capital was the first organisation to receive dormant asset funding since 2012, followed by Access - The Foundation for Social Investment since 2014 and, more recently, Fair4All Finance and the Youth Futures Foundation since 2019.

Its aim is to ensure that these four Operating Companies (OpCos) remain true to their respective missions.

More detail about the organisations in the Oversight Trust Group can be found on their websites:



Every four years, an independent panel, appointed by the Oversight Trust, reviews documents and interviews stakeholders to produce a report of the organisation's effectiveness.

The Panel set up to perform the Fair4All Finance review comprised: Keith Leslie (Chair ofSamaritans); Danielle Walker Palmour (Chief Executive ofFriends Provident Foundation) andClaire Brown(formerly Finance and Investment Director at Esmee Fairbairn). Fiona Young Priest worked as Secretariat support for the Panel.