Grameen takes step towards Scots lending

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Micro-lending charity Grameen UK has taken the next step in its development with the appointment of former RBS regional director Kevin Cadman as its chief executive.

The lender, backed by Tesco Bank and Ann Gloag, last year unveiled plans to launch its first European pilot in the West of Scotland. The initial scheme will serve Glasgow, North Ayrshire, West Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde.

Grameen UK is overseen by the Grameen Scotland Foundation, a charitable body run by a board of trustees. The group aims to introduce to Scotland the micro-lending system originally devised by Nobel Laureate professor Muhammad Yunus, now chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University.

Cadman said: “The Grameen model is all about helping individuals to make a better life for themselves by empowering them to cultivate business skills, develop financial awareness and become active members of the community. It goes straight to the heart of what finance should be all about – knowing customers as individuals and meeting their needs and aspirations.”

Last year Edinburgh-based Tesco Bank provided Grameen with £500,000 loan capital and committed to offering savings facilities and business support to borrowers. Other key supporters include the Scottish Government and businesswoman and philanthropist Gloag. The foundation is in advanced talks with the European Investment Fund to access further resources.