Shared Interest provides ethical finance; working in parts of
the world where other lenders are less keen to operate.
This year, we continued to focus on reaching small farming and
handcraft groups in disadvantaged areas, with 47% of customers
having a turnover of below £500,000.
We balance the desire for our lending to reach those who need it
most, with the need to avoid placing our members' capital at
excessive risk. We control this risk by setting a prudential limit
on approved facilities of 135% of our Share Capital and
Although we do offer term loans for the purchase of assets such
as trucks, or infrastructure such as a cableway to help move
bananas, the majority of our lending can be classed as short term
This is usually in the form of export credit, providing working
capital to help a producer group fulfil their orders, or a stock
facility for building up raw materials. Both types of lending are
designed to be repaid as contracts are fulfilled. The funds are
then released and lent again.
By taking advantage of the different harvest seasons across
products and regions, we can commit a higher value of lending than
the total value of our Share Capital. You can see the products our
lending supports on the page opposite. This year, we provided a
line of credit for three new products: flowers (Kenya), coconuts
(Ghana) and alpaca fibre (Peru).
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