Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) and Good Shepherd New Zealand, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development and The Salvation Army, launched a Community Finance initiative in August 2014 to tackle financial exclusion.
The initiative aims to provide a pathway to affordable and sustainable borrowing. It enables the financing of essential household items or services, such as fridges or cars, through small loans: either StepUP loans (a low interest loan of up to $5000 with no establishment fees, for a maximum of 36 months) or No Interest Loan Scheme (loans of up to $1000 for a maximum of one year with no interest or fees).
The initiative provides a safe, fair and affordable borrowing option for those who are on low incomes, and who are often forced to borrow at crippling rates. It aims to help the estimated 700,000 New Zealanders who struggle with unaffordable and unsustainable debt.
The innovative collaboration sees government, a corporate and not-for-profits working together to create a sustainable future for New Zealanders.
BNZ and Good Shepherd Trust are finalists in the 2015 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards in the EcoPro Cleaning Co Community Innovation Award.