LENDING charity AFPA Trust is working to promote the public image of the alternative lending sector by raising money for good causes through sector-specific networking events.
AFPA hosted a 4 July fundraiser (pictured) for at-risk children in Somerset, raising more than £6,000 from lawyers, brokers, accountants, lenders and funders who specialise in alternative lending.
“We know that all financial services firms do not have a very good reputation on the lending side,” said Stephen Bassett, chairperson of the AFPA Trust.
“We want to change that. Each AFPA event has a charitable element to it so members can nominate charities that they’d like us to support – usually smaller charities where the impact is greater and less money is taken out for administration. All of the money that we raise through membership or events goes to charity.”
As well as raising money for good causes, AFPA’s events offer networking opportunities and past events have led to many new partnerships and career opportunities being created, according to Bassett.
“The main purpose of these events is to create a network in the lending sector,” he said. “Although we were born out of asset finance and leasing, it has expanded beyond that now to include the world of peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding as well.”
Bassett hopes that by raising the profile of the sector in a positive way, more young people may be encouraged to begin a career in lending, and he is working with a number of employers and universities on a long-term strategy to raise awareness of the opportunities available.
The next AFPA event will take place on 17 October in Bristol, while the charity’s annual Beaujolais Day fundraiser will be hosted on 21 November in London.