2013 was another good year for the Co-operative Loan Fund. We made 10 new loans to co-operatives totalling £335,000. The smallest was £10,000 and the largest £75,000.
Since the Co-operative Loan Fund started in 2002 we have lent £3.3m to 124 co-operatives throughout Great Britain.
When the loans are repaid the money is lent again to other co-operatives. During 2013 five loans were fully repaid. At the end of the year the fund was worth £1.58m with just over £1m out on loan and £543,000 available to lend.
The default rate on our lending has always been low (average 3%) but in 2013 for the first time we did not write off any bad debts. This is despite the fact that the Co-operative Loan Fund deliberately lends to ventures that mainstream lenders would consider to be ‘high risk’. It shows that 1) our loan assessors have very good judgement and 2) co-operatives are generally more reliable than most small businesses.
The Co-operative Loan Fund made a good operating surplus in 2013, which means that all of our donors’ funds were available for lending and were not spent on administration.