Fair lending expert appointed to help create financial inclusion in Scotland

09 Nov 2023

  • Cost of Living
  • Impact
  • Financial Inclusion for Scotland

Financial Inclusion for Scotland has appointed a new associate to drive forward its future strategy and improve fair and affordable access to financial services for all.

The former CEO of Scotcash, Sharon MacPherson, has joined Financial Inclusion for Scotland – an organisation she helped to set up late last year, which aims to tackle financial exclusion – in a new leadership role.

Founded by Social Investment Scotland (SIS), the group is formed of several members and policymakers from across the commercial and not-for-profit sectors with a shared commitment to finding new ways to expand fair financial provision in Scotland.

Sharon will be responsible for developing Financial Inclusion for Scotland’s strategy and creating a plan to help all Scots access the services they need to make the most of their money. Her work will include engagement with a range of social leaders to gather expertise and insight to inform the group’s priorities.

The aim of Financial Inclusion for Scotland is to support individuals and families across the country who are struggling to cope with the ongoing cost of living crisis with fair loans, savings, insurance products, financial wellbeing tools and access to help when needed. According to recent figures from the Financial Fairness Tracker, 16% of Scottish households said they were facing serious financial difficulties .

Sharon joined Scotcash in 2013 as its business development manager, before taking up the CEO role. Prior to this, she worked for Glasgow City Council, developing and delivering a city-wide financial inclusion strategy.

Sharon Macpherson V2

Sharon MacPherson said: “I have spent most of my career working in roles that focus on financial inclusion, seeking to close gaps and ensure that poorer households do not get left behind as others become more financially secure. Having helped to initially set up Financial Inclusion for Scotland, it is great to have the opportunity to drive the next steps and progress. Families all over Scotland are struggling to put food on the table and heat their homes, so it is crucial that we drive the changes needed to make a real difference for the people who need it most.”

Sharon brings a wealth of experience to the role and will play a core part in helping to deliver the organisation’s vision. By working with the Scottish Government, third-sector agencies, the fintech community and financial services groups, we hope to find new ways to provide affordable credit, stigma-free debt advice and money management tools. We are grateful for the ongoing support provided by SIS, which will enable us to work towards ensuring everyone in Scotland has access to the financial products they need. Financial Inclusion is key to building an inclusive Scotland and Sharon’s appointment is an important step along that road.

Stephen Pearson

Chair of Financial Inclusion for Scotland