Government commits $33.3 million to improve financial inclusion

Good Shepherd Microfinance, Australia’s largest microfinance organisation, has welcomed the Australian Government’s $33.3 million dollar investment in safe and affordable financial services.

Provided over five years, the funding will allow Good Shepherd Microfinance to grow its range of people-centred, affordable financial programs for people on low incomes, including its awarding winning No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS).

NILS offers people on low incomes access to safe and affordable loans for essential items like fridges, washing machines, school books and medical costs.

Significantly, these loans have been shown to have ongoing benefits with 82 per cent of clients experiencing an improvement in economic outcomes such as savings in expenses, greater financial independence and the ability to absorb one off unexpected shocks.

“This is a significant, long term investment in the future of inclusive finance in Australia that enables us to continue to grow our no interest and low interest loan programs,” said Adam Mooney, CEO of Good Shepherd Microfinance.

“This five year commitment means we can explore new and innovative ways to support the three million people in Australia experiencing financial exclusion, and puts us on track to reach 1 million people by 2018.

“Importantly, through this investment the Australian Government is enabling hundreds of community organisations across the country to offer safe, fair and affordable finance to people on low incomes,” he said.

Mr Mooney said the Government’s support would be complemented by the National Australia Bank, a corporate leader in addressing financial exclusion.

“NAB has been a long term partner in our microfinance programs and has committed $130m in capital to support microfinance in Australia.

“Our NILS and StepUP loans are a great example of what can be achieved when government, community and corporate Australia work together. We have a shared responsibility to enable financial inclusion and we look forward to working closely with the Government, NAB, and our provider partners into the future,” said Mr Mooney.

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