The chief executive of West Midlands based BCRS Business Loans has been appointed as a Board Member for the national trade association for responsible finance providers.
Stephen Deakin has joined Responsible Finance (RF) as a Board Member after working in the sector for over seven years at one of the organisation’s long-standing members, BCRS Business Loans.
The role will see Stephen and a team of ten other Board Members use their experience to help drive the sector forward.
Responsible Finance, established in 2002, works with its members to build a strong responsible finance sector across the UK that aims to create positive social and environmental impact for businesses, individuals and communities that are not adequately served by mainstream finance providers.
Stephen said: “I am delighted to join the Board of Responsible Finance at a time when access to finance continues to be crucial for businesses and individuals that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“As a sector, we have gone above and beyond in the past six months. Speaking for business lenders that delivered the government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), we approved loans totalling £42.3 million for 545 businesses as a sector as of 14th September, which is an incredible achievement.
“The impact that Responsible Finance Providers have on businesses and individuals is far-reaching and unique, and something we are incredibly proud of, so as I join the Board I am particularly passionate about increasing our intentional impact further.
“I am also committed to combatting our biggest overall challenge, which continues to be access to affordable credit to lend on and to meet growing demand from individuals and businesses that are unable to access funding from mainstream lenders,” he added.
Stephen has played an active role in supporting RF over the past seven years, by working on sector-wide funding initiatives, helping to lobby government on matters affecting SMEs and alternative funding and, more recently, as a member of a steering group aimed at environmental sustainability.
The chief executive of Responsible Finance, Theodora Hadjimichael, commented:
“We are thrilled to welcome Stephen to the Board of Responsible Finance. BCRS Business Loans is an innovative and ambitious Responsible Finance Provider delivering a range of programmes that are critical to the West Midlands economy – such as the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. They have been at the economic frontline supporting almost 80 businesses with CBILS loans, protecting almost 1,000 jobs.
“We know the coming months will be critical for small businesses across the country; the Responsible Finance sector is committed to ensuring these businesses get the right support at the right time to protect jobs now, and build the capacity to grow and innovate in the future.
“Steve’s leadership will be an asset to Responsible Finance as we scale up the sector and its impact on an inclusive economic recovery.”
BCRS Business Loans was established in 2002 to support viable businesses in the West Midlands that are unable to access finance from traditional lenders, such as banks. The not-for-profit lender offers loans from £10,000 to £150,000 via a relationship-based loan application process that has been modified to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
To discover more about the loan process at BCRS Business Loans or to submit an initial application form, visit www.bcrs.org.uk.