Belgian CASE STUDY – Affordable Personal Inclusive Credit

01 September 2013

Position paper

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Enabling low-income and financially-excluded consumers access affordable credit for basic goods and services

This partnership project runs between Crédal Plus (social entreprise), the Walloon Region (public regional authorities) and the Dexia Foundation (private foundation related to a bank).

In Belgium, many financially excluded people in low-income situations do not access basic goods and services to allow them to pursue a project in their life or to reach a minimum but adequate living standard. Via the personal microcredit developed, the specific objective is to allow clients’ life projects to happen within a more broad objective of prevention against overindebtedness.

The three current partners are:

1. Crédal – is a group composed by cooperatives and associations that has developed alternative social (micro)credits for organisations, entrepreneurs and people for more than 25 years. Active in the French-speaking part of Belgium, which include the Brussels and Walloon Regions, Crédal is the most active social operator. It proposes a wide range of credits: from mortgage (for social companies) to professional investments, from “bridge credit” to “working capital”, from microcredit for business to personal microcredit (this last activity is concentrated in “Crédal Plus” association structure). Innovative, often leader in its field, Crédal is constantly enlarging its supply to meet the needs of excluded people/institutions from mainstream credit.

2. The Walloon Region – Department of Social Affairs, in charge of the regional treatment of overindebtedness. For more than 25 years, this department has been involved in research and actions to develop an answer to overindebtedness. A well-structured social service has been created, at local, provincial and regional levels. In order to invest in an innovative tool to combat overindebtedness, the Region supports, since 2004, social / affordable personal credits’ supply for excluded people.

3. Dexia Foundation – Since 2006, the Dexia Foundation has decided to support initiatives regarding the two following priorities: social integration and the underpriviledged’s quality of life. This first priority translates to financial and human resources support for microcredit and social personal credit and the second priority is similar support for hospital palliative units.

Crédal is the partner for microcredit in the French-speaking community and another Flemish institution, Hefboom, is the operator in the Dutch-speaking community.

Finance Watch Belgian CASE STUDY – Affordable Personal Inclusive CreditCAPIC’ actions are supported by the European Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity (2007-2013) – PROGRESS. The information contained in this document does not necessarily reflect the position of the European Commission.

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