Shared Interest Society are registered under the Co-operative
and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 and a member of
Co-operatives UK. Our members share our vision of a
world where justice is at the heart of trade finance. We form the
vital link between UK social investors and fair trade organisations
overseas needing finance to improve their livelihoods.
Our UK based account holders invest anything between £100 and
£100,000. These funds are pooled and used to provide credit
services and low interest loans to fair trade farmers and artisans
in the developing world.
Shared Interest Society lends funds to buyer and producer
organisations. We provide loans and credit services to businesses
worldwide that are registered with either Fairtrade International
(FLO) or members of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO), The
British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers (BAFTS),
Small Producer Seal (SSP), or the Fairtrade Federation. These
businesses range from sole trader handcraft organisations to large
scale coffee co-operatives and fair trade buyers. The seasonality
of different products enables us to use our Share Capital
effectively. For example, when the coffee harvest in South America
finishes, the Central American harvest begins, meaning that their
borrowing peaks never coincide. This allows us to commit to lend
more money than our capital value total. However to control the
risk, we set a prudential limit on approved facilities of 125% of
our Share Capital and reserves.
Our mission is to provide financial services and business
support to make livelihoods and living standards better for people
as they trade their way out of poverty. We work collaboratively and
innovatively with those who share our commitment to fair and just
trade. With a community of investors and the support of donors and
volunteers, we seek to contribute to a world where justice is at
the heart of fair trade finance.
We are not a microfinance organisation as we do not work with
start-up enterprises. All of the businesses we work with need to be
fair trade registered and show evidence of three years of audited
We lend on an unsecured basis knowing that many of our customers
either do not have any security to pledge, or have already used
their assets to secure conventional borrowing. We do charge
interest to our customers. This interest rate is based on the
risk attached to the individuals and is competitive in comparison
to loans available in country.
We have just over 9,000 Share Accounts in operation at
You can read our terms and conditions here.
Topping up your Share Account is easy. Not only can you make an
investment securely online with your debit card, you can
alternatively use the form in your Investor Pack to set up a
standing order, or use the Bank Giro Credit slips also
Don't forget to let us know if you need more slips, contact
membership on: 0191 233 9102 or email email@example.com
You can make an investment by debit card into your Share Account
securely by using our online member portal, Our Shared Interest.
If you haven't registered for online access, all you need to
do is contact us with an email address. You can do this over
the telephone after answering a series of security questions, or in
writing, with your signature for security purposes. For any
further questions, please email
To set up a standing order with your bank all you need is our
bank account number 70062793 and sort code 089006. Don't forget to
use your ten digit account number as a reference.
You can make further investments into your account using a
cheque in two ways. You can take the Bank Giro Credit Slip at the
bottom of your statement along with your cheque to your bank.
Alternatively you can send cheques directly to our Newcastle
office. Cheques sent directly to us must have your ten digit
account number written on the back. All cheques should be made
payable to Shared Interest Society Ltd
If you have access to online banking you can transfer funds
directly to your Share Account. All you need is our bank account
number 70062793 and sort code 089006. Don't forget to use your ten
digit account number as a reference.
Making a withdrawal
You can withdraw any amount at any time, provided your account
contains sufficient funds. Notification in writing, signed by all
account holders must be received.
Broadly speaking, our lending falls into two categories: funds
lent directly to fair trade producer groups in developing
countries, and funds lent to fair trade wholesale or retail
businesses in developed countries (buyers). This year we made an
overall total of £51.4m in payments - an increase of £3.4m on last
year. As loans are repaid, we are able to lend the money out again.
Last year we lent our Share Capital one and a half times. Lending
directly to producers was the highest in the history of Shared
The money you put into a Share Account is an investment and you
can withdraw your funds. As with all investment products there is a
risk attached. However, in our entire history, investor
funds have never been compromised.
Shared Interest is a Community Benefit Society, which means that
we cannot be regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA)
and we are not a member of any investment protection schemes,
although we do follow best practice guidelines.
Our Board of Directors sets the rate of interest payable.
Our interest rate is currently 0.5%.
You can read about our history here.
Shared Interest is an international organisation, our head
office is in Newcastle upon Tyne and we have offices in Kenya,
Peru, Costa Rica and Ghana.
'Our Shared Interest' is an online portal for members, where you
can log in securely to view statements, make investments and
withdrawals, and access messages.
To register for online access with Our Shared Interest, please
contact us on 0191 233 9132 with an email address you would like to
use. We will ask you questions to verify your identity for
Alternatively, you can write to us with your Shared Interest
account number, email address, and signature for identity
Under current laws an individual Shared Interest account can
have a maximum investment of £100,000. You can however have more
than one account per household. To remain open, your account always
needs to contain at least £100.
Yes, you can open a Share Account on behalf of a minor.
You can also open an account as a gift for friends or family.
Download a gift pack here.
The Society's annual financial accounts can be found here. To request a
hard copy of the Director's Report and Accounts contact membership
on 0191 2339102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can, however, how you do this depends on the balance of your
account. To find out more please contact membership on 0191 2339102
or email email@example.com
Founded in 2004, Shared Interest Foundation is a
registered charity that provides practical support to businesses in
the developing world. This involves training that allows
individuals to create sustainable employment in the community.