A money advice and credit service set up two years ago has been praised by Cardiff West Assembly Member Mark Drakeford for its ground breaking work on behalf of people who are financially excluded.

Moneyline Cymru was set up in 2009 and part-funded by 16 housing associations to provide money, advice and credit for people who are usually denied access to these from mainstream outlets like banks. There are five high street Moneyline shops in South Wales including a Cardiff shop in Cowbridge Road East, Canton providing loans, financial advice and basic bank accounts for people who may otherwise be denied these services.

Community Housing Cymru, the umbrella group of housing associations behind Moneyline Cymru, estimates that 70% of those living in council or housing association accommodation are unable to access mainstream credit. Their research shows that financially excluded people often turn to high interest lenders and, in extreme cases, to loan sharks to borrow money.

Moneyline Cymru works closely with the Citizens Advice Bureau and Wales Housing Debt Helpline to help tenants get the right money and debt advice. It was awarded the Groundbreaking Service Team in 2010.

Mark Drakeford said : “Moneyline Cymru is part of a new set of services for people financial difficulty who may otherwise fall prey to doorstep lenders or loan sharks who operate by using fear and intimidation to carry out their business. Together with Credit Unions, they offer money advice and credit to those in greatest need. I am delighted to join Moneyline Cymru in celebrating two years of fair lending in Cardiff.”

Mark Drakeford will join Moneyline Cymru for its second anniversary celebration at Canton Library, Cowbridge Road East, on Thursday, 17 November at 11.30 am.