Our engagement with the
Community

Building better relationships with our communities is important for us to gain real understanding and empathy with our customer communities.

The key aim of our community investment programme is to balance the needs of the community with strategic business concerns, the issues our customers and agents find important and the aspirations of our employees.

  • We are committed to investing time and other resources to support education and social welfare programmes, as well as contributing to enhance the financial knowledge of people in the communities in which we operate.
  • We are also focussed on engaging our people through community development and have donated over 170,290 employee hours in volunteer initiatives and invested almost £ 10.7 million in a combination of financial literacy, social welfare and education programmes.

 

 

Our products are financially inclusive and often appeal to consumers who may be underserved by mainstream banking.

Our personal experience with these consumers has shown us that although they may be very skilled at household budgeting they have typically received no formal financial education which limits their ability to engage with the financial sector.

IPF invests in financial education initiatives as part of its community investment programme as a complement to financial consumer protection and regulatory reforms, as well as policies aimed at reinforcing financial access and treating our customers fairly. 

Framing the issue

There are varying levels of financial literacy across the markets where our home credit business exists. However, as a majority of our home credit customers are underserved by banks and generally have little to no credit history, financial education is an important issue for them. Knowing this, IPF has developed financial education programmes over the past 15 years across all the markets in which our home credit business operates. These programmes provide the skills, knowledge and confidence necessary for making responsible, informed decisions about long-term financial wellbeing.

By ensuring our customers and the general public are equipped with the skills needed to manage their own finances, we not only enable them to engage with the financial sector, we also secure our business as a responsible provider of consumer credit. Developing a consumer base that is informed and knowledgeable allows us to further engage with our customers and provide products that suit their needs.

What about the money?– Poland

According to the “Level of financial knowledge of Poles " research carried out at the request of the Warsaw Institute of Banking and the Warsaw Stock Exchange Foundation, only 9% of Poles describe their financial knowledge as good or very good. The basic financial literacy is assessed particularly low by young people aged 18–34. This is why the aim of our financial literacy programme in Poland is to help young people manage their personal finances.  

What about the money is a vlog developed by young people for young people. The engaging vlog format allows viewers to learn about personal finance based on the experiences of three vloggers. Young people can also share their insights and experiences of budget management.  

You're good with money - Romania

You’re good with money is an online financial education platform aimed at making financial terms more accessible to the wider public via engaging games. Users are challenged to play twelve different games where they find over 150 financial definitions to help them build their financial knowledge. Anyone with access to a computer, Android or iOS device can play and progress from the basic concepts to more advanced scenarios that test their financial decision-making skills.

The platform game is part of the Financial Stability website an online resource centre for financial education for all members of the public to improve their financial wellbeing. The site features news, stories and multiple resources about personal budgeting, credit, investment and financial stability as well as entrepreneurial advice. One of the tools is a calculator that helps visitors analyse their financial wellbeing by looking at various aspects of their personal finances.

Cash Crew – Czech Republic

 

Cash Crew brings financial literacy to Czech youth in an easy and engaging way via the Crew’s video blog, Facebook page, YouTube channel and Spotify playlist. Followers of the Cash Crew social media channels can find useful information on topics that young people are not very familiar with, but which can help them make better financial decisions.

The videos are presented by social media influencers who use a friendly language to express their views and share their experiences. Cash Crew was recognised in 2019 with the Fenix Bronze award for Social Media and Content. Find out more in the Cash Crew video blog.

 

Let's talk about money – Mexico

Financial Literacy in Mexico is a key step towards achieving real economic stability. Provident Mexico has made a special effort for over nine years to bring basic information on managing personal finances to the communities that need it the most.

Between 2016 and 2019 we have reached over 103,000 people, demonstrating the focus we have placed on financial literacy in our community programme.

The success of the programme is possible thanks to our alliances with not for profit organisations such as the NEMI Foundation and Junior Achievement. Our objective is to cooperate with organisations that specialise in education in order to bring financial literacy to more people in every community we have a presence in.

Family Treasure Programme – Hungary

The Family Treasure Programme cooperates closely with government agencies, financial institutions and NGOs to help develop and deliver practical education tools for the public- school system. The objective of the programme is to improve the financial stability of households by enhancing financial and economic skills. In 2019, in collaboration with the Money Compass Foundation, the online financial literacy competition Winning Ten tested participants’ knowledge around responsible borrowing, savvy investment and consumer protection. The website attracted over 30,000 individual visitors and 7,300 participants, with only 1% of them answering all question correctly – a clear indication that focus on financial literacy continues to be essential.

Our community investment programmes aim to promote social inclusion by addressing the challenges that disadvantaged groups face in accessing opportunities.

stARTs Scholarships – Romania

The stART Scholarship programme supports young people each year – talented young Romanian artists who would otherwise not have the opportunity to develop their talent. During the first five editions of the programme, 230 young artists have been able to focus on progressing their vocational careers thanks to this programme which is run in partnership with the NGO Scoala de Valori. With the help of these scholarships these talented high school students can purchase materials, equipment and anything else needed to prepare themselves as musicians or artists. They also benefit from counselling for their professional development and collaborations with well-known national artists.

Helping with Provident  – Czech Republic

Helping with Provident programme is our flagship community engagement programme in the Czech Republic. Every summer, our Helping with Provident website is open for applications from organisations providing health, social or education services across the country who wish to be selected to receive a donation. Each year, a number of projects are selected by public and employee votes.

Across the year, we support many other charitable institutions through the same programme. One of them is the House of Three Wishes –a not for profit organisation that helps children aged 3 to 18 who are in danger due to poor education, family relationship problems, absent parents, child abuse, harassment or negligence. For more than five years our Czech business has financially supported the House of Three Wishes so that they can continue to prevent these children being sent to orphanages by offering temporary residence and day-care, psychological and social support and by working with their parents to ensure that children return to a safe and healthy living environment.

Football Tournament for social causes– Mexico

Our Annual Football Tournament brings together our Mexican agents and employees to raise funds to support the work of 22 not for profit organisations. These organisations help individuals and communities facing health, social and economic strain by providing a variety of services such as medical and psychological treatment for children affected by cancer and their families, educational programmes for children with Down syndrome, nutrition programmes and language therapy. 

Cooperation with Exempt from theory – Poland

Exempt from Theory is a platform created by the Zwolnieni z Teorii Foundation to help address the problem of young graduates entering the Polish labour market without any experience or key skills. The platform allows participants to initiate their own social projects and guides them through the planification and execution phases. It also gives them access to a mentor who can dispel any doubts they might have in managing the project as well as the opportunity to obtain a PMI’s Project Management certification. We established this cooperation in 2019 and since then, our colleagues have mentored almost 100 students from across the country.

Volunteering is an important way for our employees to engage with local communities.  Every year our employees join our volunteering campaigns and spend thousands of hours helping the causes they care about. Our volunteering activities are organised at a local level in cooperation with our charity partners so that our voluntary work responds to the needs of the communities where we work and live while reflecting the interests of our people. Our focus on local communities as the beneficiary of our volunteering efforts has been particularly inspired by the results of the studies conducted by researchers from the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland. Based on their research, our team in Poland have amended their local volunteering programme so that it also impacts the well-being of our employees. 

Our annual ‘Make a Difference in May’ volunteering event engages employees, agents and our local communities in mutually beneficial community-focused projects. In 2021 despite the pandemic we have all proved once again that together we can make a difference. More than 1,200  of colleagues across all our markets and Group head office in the UK actively joined our volunteering agenda.