Use our expertise & experience

We’ve been successfully managing funds and making loans in a specialist market for over 40 years.

We are the oldest community development finance institution (CDFI) in the UK and, we believe, one of the most successful and sustainable. We are also one of the very few CDFIs that is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the conduct of investment business.

When it comes to managing funds, assessing risks and minimising losses while maximising social impact … we know what we’re doing. We want to share our expertise and experience with organisations – large or small, local or regional, national or international – that share our values.

We can provide a comprehensive range of fund management services tailored to individual needs that may save you time and money and could help you to meet objectives. We are always keen to work in partnership with like-minded organisations to develop new finance packages for enterprises that will help to deliver social, environmental or community benefit in particular sectors. Does this sound like you? Start your loan process by Registering Your Interest.

Fund management & services

We offer a flexible portfolio of services to loan funds, micro-finance institutions and other lenders. These can range from discreet back office services to comprehensive management and investment services.

Over the last 40 years we’ve developed highly effective systems of financial management and control which we can offer to other lenders. Using our services will almost certainly save you time and money and avoid reinventing the wheel.

Our clients include Big Issue Invest, Co-operative Loan Fund, Radical Routes and SME Wholesale Finance. We also manage funds that have been donated to us for a specific purpose, eg Avon & Bristol Co-operative Fund, East of England Fund, East Midlands Fund, Wakefield Fund and West Glamorgan Fund.

To find out more about our fund management services please contact us for an informal discussion ( or 01179 166750).


Back office services

This can include:

  • Holding monies and provision of treasury services
  • Setting up loan accounts, calculation of interest
  • Re-calculating loans
  • Provision of quarterly statements and tax computations
  • Providing for early repayment
  • Collection of repayments by monthly direct debit
  • Loan fund management
  • We offer three standard levels of loan fund management and a bespoke service as required.


Level 1
Administration and control
We provide the administration of loans as in our normal back office service as well as:

  • Loan advance release documentation
  • Perfection of security
  • Charging and collection of interest and loan capital repayments
  • Financial and credit control; bookkeeping; reactive reporting of repayment problems.

Level 2
Appraisal and monitoring

In addition to all of Level 1, this includes:

  • Checking that applicants comply with your loan fund criteria
  • Full appraisal and written report on each client
  • Assigned Co-operative & Community Finance business adviser who will liaise with and attend all relevant
  • loan fund board or committee meetings
  • The regular, proactive monitoring of borrowers
  • The provision of business, financial and marketing advice to borrowers, where appropriate, in association with existing provision
  • The provision of monitoring and financial reports.

Level 3
Comprehensive management and investment service

This includes all of levels 1 and 2 plus the management of the loan fund’s cash balances with investment advice to ensure best ethical investment practice and rate of return. This would involve adding the cash balances of the loan fund to our own cash balances to benefit from economy of scale and our investment experience. There are several mechanisms for doing this.

Product development

We are always keen to work in partnership with organisations that share our values to develop new finance packages suitable for niche markets. If you would like to explore how our expertise and experience of specialist lending might help your organisation or the people you represent please Register Your Interest or call our team on 0117 916 6750 for an informal discussion.. Examples of product development:

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Housing co-operative purchase package
In 2009 we launched a unique double loan package in conjunction with Triodos Bank to help housing co-operatives buy property. 


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Village CORE programme
Since 2006 we have been working the Plunkett Foundation and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to provide a combined package advice, grants and loans to villages that want to set up and run community-owned shops. The programme has been very successful.


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Community-owned pubs
Following the success of the Village CORE programme we have committed ourselves together with CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), Plunkett Foundation, The Co-operative Enterprise Hub and Co-operatives UK to support communities seeking to buy their own pub.

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Community shares
In 2012 we launched a new fund to support community share issues. The fund was started with finance from The Co-operative Enterprise Hub and support from The Co-operative Loan Fund. Previously we had worked on a research project on community investment with partners the Development Trusts Association (now known as Locality), Co-operatives UK, The Plunkett Foundation, Baker Brown Associates and the Key Fund. 

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Community renewable energy
We’re currently working with Community Renewable Energy (CoRE) to create a package of advice and risk finance to help local communities to develop sustainable energy projects.