Making financial power work for local places

Breakout session: 11.45am

The advancement of community wealth building depends on our ability to recognise the points of flex within five key areas of policy. In these breakout sessions we will hear from the people who have not only identified the mechanisms for change, but are innovating within them.

Access to credit is the life blood of many small businesses. Yet the UK banking sector is orientated to global markets rather than local investment and economic development and, in recent years, we’ve seen a stagnation of lending to small business and a loss of connection between lenders and communities – trends which seem even more likely to continue in an era of business precarity brought about by Covid-19.

Rather than attempting to attract national or international capital, community wealth building seeks to increase flows of investment within local economies, by harnessing the wealth that exists locally. As we enter a period of recovery, how can we build in economic reform that makes financial power work for local places?


Marloes Nicholls, Head of Programmes, Finance Innovation Lab

Marloes leads Finance Innovation Lab’s financial innovation research, advocacy, and incubation – including Lab Fellowship. Before joining the Lab, Marloes was Programme Manager and Researcher at the think tank Meteos, and co-founder and director of the campaign Move Your Money UK. She also worked at Oxfam on global campaigns and policy.

In 2020 Marloes became a member of the Customer Insight and Impact Group at the responsible finance provider Moneyline. She is also a member of Nation of Savers, a cross-industry group advising on the delivery of the Money and Pensions Service’s new, government-backed UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing.

 Tony Greenham, Executive Director, South West Mutual

Tony is a Senior Fellow of the Finance Innovation Lab and was previously Director of Economics at the RSA and Associate Director, Finance and Economics at the New Economics Foundation. His publications include ‘People Powered Prosperity’, ‘Where Does Money Come From?’ and ‘The British Business Bank: Creating good sustainable jobs’.

Tony’s early career was in the City as a chartered accountant and investment banker with Barclays and Credit Suisse. He is currently the Executive Director of South West Mutual, a regional mutual challenger bank serving the south west of England and focused on financing a just transition to a low carbon economy.

Eleanor Radcliffe, Researcher, CLES

Ellie’s role at CLES builds on her diverse experience across the third sector, with a career rooted in a passion for social justice. Ellie delivers research, membership, policy and consultancy work at CLES, and has particular interests in co-production, housing and community activism. She is an experienced facilitator and her work in housing and homelessness included applying learning from her research and involving people with lived experience in decision making processes.

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