New business launched to tackle debt

Smart Savings founder Jane Opie
Smart Savings founder Jane Opie

Smart Savings, a new Cornwall-based Community Interest Company (CIC) has been launched to help vulnerable people in debt.

It is the first claims management company to be set up as a not-for-profit organisation in the Duchy, using its profits and assets for the local community.

Smart Savings will look to reduce individual and business debt by reclaiming unfair penalty charges – for example, the last six years of UK bank charges.

Smart Savings will help small businesses and vulnerable adults who are in severe financial hardship and are victims of social exclusion (for example adults with disability or health problems, basic skills needs, English as a second language, lone parents, and the unemployed).

The services will be targeted towards the most disadvantaged wards in Cornwall, including but not limited to: St Petrocs (Bodmin), St Marys (Bodmin), Gannel (Newquay), Launceston, Mount Charles (St Austell), St Blaise (Par), Rock (North Cornwall), and Treneere (Penwith).

Founding director and chief executive, Jane Opie, said: “We are delighted that Smart Savings has been launched this month. Smart Savings provides professional and ethical financial services for individuals, companies and organisations.

“The recession has led to a rapid increase in unemployment and personal debt in Cornwall, resulting in people relying on their overdraft facilities and being charged huge penalties. Smart Savings will help people to reclaim these charges and reduce their debt burden”.

Smart Savings is supported and sponsored by many community-based organisations in Cornwall and UK wide, such as Cornwall’s SSE (School of Social Entrepreneurs), UnLtd, Jobcentre Plus, Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust, Cornwall College, Carnbrea Leisure Centre, Cornish Community Banking, Inspired Design Consultants, Cornish Computing, TC Accounting Solutions, and Redruth Osteopathic Clinic.