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Released Under Embargo:

London, 26 September 2007 – Community Money, a London-based microfinance institution (MFI) today launched itself to socially motivated UK investors. It is the UK’s first MFI to be registered as a Community Interest Company limited by shares, established to benefit local communities through investing in financially excluded individuals, businesses and community groups.

Operating with both social and commercial objectives, Community Money offers two innovative products; the Community Lottery and a bespoke Financial Inclusion Programme.

The Community Lottery, a weekly £1 lottery, launches this week in London. Licensed under the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976, the lottery’s proceeds will fund a loan and grant fund which is expected to start operations early in the New Year.

The Community Money Financial Inclusion Programme which has been developed to implement financial inclusion strategies on behalf of local authorities, housing providers and regeneration agencies, to help combat financial deprivation, high-interest lending and associated debt problems.

Puck Markham, founder and chief executive, Community Money CIC, comments: “In today’s economically-polarised society, the more affluent and socially aware individuals are looking to regulated investment opportunities that benefit their local communities. Community Money has been set up to provide that investment vehicle which in turn enables the provision of affordable loans, community grants and other financial services to those who need it most.”

According to HM Treasury, 1 in 12 UK households, due to higher risk profiles, do not have access to mainstream credit and financial services, including basic financial advice. Low-income households rely on high-interest doorstop lenders, catalogue companies and loan sharks, with interest rates as high as 1500% APR for short-term loans. The people who least can afford to pay such high prices for essential goods and services.


Press enquiries to:

Puck Markham
Tel: 0845 602 1322; 07970 868679

About Community Money CIC and the Community Lottery:

Community Money is the UK’s first Community Interest Company (CIC)-registered microfinance institution. Established by Puck Markham, a former broker and commercial banker, the company has raised both grant funding and private investment and continues to fundraise among charitable foundations and socially motivated private investors. Markham’s recent experience includes assisting helping long-term unemployed people set up micro businesses and working as a social enterprise lender. Prior to establishing Community Money Markham managed a microfinance pilot supported by a number of London housing associations.

Community Interest Companies (CIC’s) were established in the summer of 2005 as a new type of company created specifically for the social enterprise sector. CIC’s are regulated by the Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies (CREG). To register as a CIC a company must adopt a suitable constitution and satisfy a community interest test, confirming that it will pursue purposes beneficial to the community. All CICs must produce an annual community interest report, which will be delivered with their accounts to Companies House and placed on the public record.

This company form puts a limitation on dividend payments and requires a percentage retention of profit within the company. In order to raise investments, a CIC limited by shares, may issue shares that pay a dividend to investors from profits available for distribution. The dividend payable on these shares is subject to a cap, set by the Regulator. Any person or body able to invest in an ordinary company can invest in a CIC.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Community Money CIC in the following categories: Business & Finance, for more information visit