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Community Finance Solutions

Community Finance Solutions

CFS logoWelcome to the website of Community Finance Solutions (CFS) - an award winning independent research unit specialising in financial and social inclusion, and community asset ownership. Located within the University of Salford, CFS offers independent research and advisory services to social landlords, local authorities, national government, charities and other organisations and agencies.

To learn more about about the centre please click here


Latest news

'Proof of Concept' for Community Land Trusts published

proofCommunity Finance Solutions published its 'Proof of Concept' for Community Land Trusts in January 2012. The proof was written by Dr. Bob Paterson and Prof. Karl Dayson, co-founders of CFS and records the development of the CLT movement and demonstrates how twelve communities have been able to practically implement the CLT model.
A hard copy of the proof is available from Gemma Thompson at or alternatively can be downloaded here.





European Commission launches Code drafted by CFS

CodeThe European Commission launched the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision on October 11th. The Code was drafted by Prof Karl Dayson, Executive Director of CFS, and Pål Vik, Research Fellow, in close consultation with the Commission and other stakeholders. This Code provides recommendations and standards that should foster best practice in the microcredit sector. It is intended to provide guidance for microcredit providers from the point of view of consumers, investors, funders and regulators. The Code is intended to support the microcredit sector in facing the challenges of accessing long term finance, maintaining and raising the quality of services and moving towards sustainability. Organised in a practical way, this voluntary Code of Good Conduct is divided into five indexed sections addressing customer and investor relations, governance, common reporting standards, management information systems and risk management. A sixth section on social performance will be added to the document in 2012.

Further information on the Code can be found here

The Code can downloaded by following this link

Dr Karl Dayson awarded Professorship


Karl Dayson, co founder of CFS and Project Director has been promoted to Professor in recognition to his ongoing research within the University of Salford. During his time at Salford, Karl has helped establish 11 community owned finance organisations that have lent over £20 million to 28,000 people whose only alternative would have been high cost sub-prime lenders. Additionally,Karl’s research on Community Land Trusts has resulted in the building of 150 affordable community-owned homes in rural England.

East Lancs MoneyLine wins 'Best responsible lender' award

elmEast Lancs Moneyline has won a CreditToday award for 'Best responsible Lender 2010' for short term loans. The CDFI received technical advice and assistance from Dr Karl Dayson and Bob Paterson in 2002 when the centre was founded and Dr Dayson is a board member, offering advice and ongoing support. For further details see their website.

Ed Balls keynote speaker at launch of CFS report on financial exclusion in Leeds


Dr Karl Dayson and Research Fellow Pål Vik will launch a report by Community Finance Solutions into financial exclusion in Leeds tomorrow. The report concludes a project into financial exclusion amongst the residents of Leeds between 2004 and 2010 and will shape future financial inclusion policy in the city. The keynote speaker at the event will be Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor. A programme of the event is available here.
The final report can be downloaded here and further details are available from Leeds City Council.

Community Land Trust National Conference

CLT logo

The Community Land Trust national conference will take place on 10th May 2011 at the Savoy Place in London. For further details and to book a place click here.




CFS to examine feasibility of UK Banking Disclosure Act

friendsCFS has been awarded funding by the Friends Provident Foundation to conduct a study of the feasibility of a UK bank disclosure act and to promote an informed public debate on the merits of such legislation. The study, which will be conduct in cooperation with the Chicago-based Woodstock Institute, seeks to ascertain the feasibility of a UK bank disclosure act based on a comprehensive analysis of risks and opportunities associated with the introduction of a UK bank lending disclosure act. The project’s findings are expected to be published in the summer of 2011 and will be of interest to community groups, think-tanks and practitioners campaigning for banking disclosure regulation, and policy-makers and academics with an interest in financial sector regulation.

CFS wins European Commission contract

ec flagCFS has been commissioned by the European Commission to draft a Code of Good Conduct for Microfinance Institutions. The purpose of the Code of Good Conduct is to develop a set of expectations and standards that are common to the microfinance sector in the European Union for the benefit of customers, investors, funders, owners, regulators and partner organisations. The work will be undertaken by Dr. Karl Dayson, Project Director, and Pål Vik, Research Fellow.

Findings of report presented at CDFA Conference

cdfa confDr Karl Dayson and Pål Vik have recently undertaken a study regarding the longtitudinal social impact of CDFI loans in conjunction with Professor Paul Mosley of The University of Sheffield. This work was funded in part by Esmee Fairbairn and the findings of the report will be presented at this years CDFA Conference in London on 24th June. It will take place at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London between 18:15 and 19:30. All are welcome to attend; please see the CDFA website for further information by clicking here.


Article published in Community Land Trust Reader

ct readerA former research assistant of Community Finance Solutions has had a chapter published in the new Community Land Trust Reader, a collection of articles on the formation and development of Community Land Trusts. The book is primarily concerned with the development of CLT's in the USA but Jennifer Aird submitted a chapter on community ownership in England. The article is based on original work Jennifer had been undertaking with Bob Paterson regarding the growing success of the CLT movement in the UK.

For further details see the Community Land Trust website.

CFS co-founder and research fellow shortlisted for European Microcredit Research Award

emn logoFor the second time in three years Karl Dayson and Pål Vik have been short-listed for the European Microcredit Research Award. The prize is awarded by the European Microfinance Network and Nantik Lum Foundation and the winner is given €800. In 2008, Dr. Dayson and Pål Vik won the prize together with visiting fellow Bob Paterson and CFS associate Anthony Salt. The paper, which is on the methodological challenges associated with conducting microfinance impact assessments in developed countries, will be presented at the EMN Annual Conference in London June 24-25. The paper is entitled ‘Measuring the impact of EU microfinance – Lessons from the field.’