Plend Launches Interest-Free Lending Initiative for Low-Income Borrowers

Published 6 months ago

Plend, an ethical lender, has rolled out its inaugural interest-free lending product, ‘Social Credit’, targeting low-income borrowers often overlooked by conventional finance routes.

Aiming for Social Inclusion

The not-for-profit initiative enables loans ranging from £500 to £2,000 without any interest or fees. The product underlines Plend’s application for B Corp status, reflecting its commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

The motive behind this initiative is to assist those who have been declined by other lenders and are susceptible to loan sharks. By the end of 2024, Plend intends to support approximately 4,500 people through this scheme.

CEO of Plend, Robert Pasco, expressed his concern over the number of people unable to secure affordable credit due to arbitrary credit scoring systems and the retreat of traditional lenders from the near and sub-prime consumer lending market. He believes the Social Credit system will combat these issues while promoting social mobility and addressing the poverty premium in the UK.

Financial Backing and Corporate Governance

In November last year, Plend secured £40m in a debt and equity funding round, with Monzo co-founders Gary Dolman and Paul Rippon among the backers.

Plend is currently awaiting B Corp status, potentially making it the UK’s first consumer lender to meet the environmental, social, and corporate governance standards necessary for the certification. The company’s chairman is Luke Lang, who stepped down as CMO of Crowdcube in June 2021.