Ahoy for community finance provider bringing “democratising finance” advocate on board

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Rupert MacInnes joins the Salad Money Board

Rupert MacInnes, former UK general counsel and head of legal, compliance and external affairs at Capital One, joins board of Open Banking pioneer, Salad Money

Salad Money, a social enterprise launched in 2019 to provide an alternative to high-cost lending to people with full-time jobs who have poor, thin, or non-existent credit scores, has appointed Rupert MacInnes, formerly head of legal, compliance and external affairs at Capital One and a "Credit 500 Hall of Fame” Member**, to its Board as a non-executive director. MacInnes will take up the role from 1 July 2024.

The ethical finance provider and award-winning "fintech for good" is a pioneer in the use of Open Banking instead of credit scores. It says demand for fair, affordable credit has exploded, with tens of thousands of applications every month. In just five years it has become the UK’s largest consumer-lending community development finance institution and is an active member of Responsible Finance, the UK's network of financial inclusion-focused community lenders.

Recent independent research underlined the need for community development finance institutions (CDFIs) including Salad Money: 20.2 million UK adults are now “financially under-served” by mainstream institutions, and at least 1 in 3 adults may have difficulty accessing credit from mainstream lenders* – which means they are at more risk of borrowing from high interest and loan sharks. Salad and other CDFIs help people avoid predatory and illegal lenders.

The firm will draw on MacInnes’ diverse experience at board and senior executive level, and deep expertise in legal, risk and compliance, as it seeks to serve more customers and attract further capital from social and impact investors to meet demand.

Rupert MacInnes said:

“Throughout my career I’ve been a strong advocate of lenders delivering good outcomes to their customers, as well as the improvement of financial access and inclusion – the democratisation of credit. That means increasing access, so people who want and can afford to borrow can do so fairly. This requires a laser-focus on doing the right thing for customers, backed up by the clever and intelligent use of data and technology, supported by effective governance. I’ve been impressed to watch what Salad has achieved – not only unlocking access to credit, but leading the industry in its use of technology to deliver good outcomes to credit applicants, for example by embedding a benefits calculator into its application journey. I’m delighted to be joining its determined and ambitious team.”

Tim Rooney, CEO of Salad Money, said:

“For more than two decades Rupert has ‘walked the walk’ when it comes to leadership in the UK financial services industry. He’s known as a passionate advocate for customers and employees, for diversity and inclusion, and for effective, thoughtful governance. We’re thrilled he’s joining the Board and look forward to his constructive and proactive contributions.”

A keen sailor, MacInnes is also an independent non-executive board member of the Cowes Harbour Commission and Vice Patron of Ocean Youth Trust South, an adventure sail training charity which takes young people aged 11-25, many of whom have experienced disadvantage, to sea on its 30-metre vessel, Prolific. 

Set up in 2019, Salad is the only consumer lender in the UK to solely use Open Banking to make lending decisions. In the first quarter of 2024, Salad lent £13m (up from £11m the previous quarter) and also identified £8.2m in extra benefits entitlements among applicants.

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