Hope Macy, a UK Fintech firm authorised by the FCA, has secured £1.5m in seed funding from the Development Bank of Wales and a group of supportive angel investors. This investment will boost the expansion and deployment of its regulated Open Banking and AI platform throughout the UK, addressing the escalating issue of financial vulnerability.
An increasing number of consumers are struggling with debt, facing difficulties in accessing credit, and becoming victims of scams. Compounding these challenges, FairForAll Finance reports that 17.5 million consumers in the UK are in financially precarious situations, with some reaching a critical point. The National Crime Agency has identified that frauds often target vulnerable individuals, resulting in severe financial and psychological consequences. Financial vulnerability can lead to missed bill payments, rent arrears, or loan defaults, potentially causing debt, poor credit, and even homelessness.
Hope Macy, based in Tramshed, Newport, has developed a comprehensive technology platform comprising three main products. DataFlex, utilising open finance technology, analyses a consumer’s financial data to identify vulnerability causes. Affordwise, a credit reference service, generates financial analysis reports to aid consumers in securing affordable credit, managing debt repayments, or finding alternative income sources. Family Connect, an automated assistant, monitors financial transactions for potential risks, alerting a family member if issues are detected.
The platform is already operational with several UK lenders and debt management companies. Adage Credit, for instance, employs this technology to credit assess individuals with no credit file, using only their bank account. The Hope Macy platform enables rapid credit risk assessment, increasing access to credit while managing risk effectively.
Hope Macy’s presence in the burgeoning international subprime sector positions it as a significant player in enhancing consumer well-being.
Sam Manning, CEO of Hope Macy, stated: “We understand the financially vulnerable like no one else. We have engaged with regulators, lenders, and borrowers to create a platform that meets the needs of this under-served eco-system. Using our technology, we are proud of what we have delivered and how consumers are benefiting from it.”
Jack Christopher, Investment Executive at the Development Bank of Wales, commented: “We’re thrilled to be a part of Hope Macy’s journey with our investment – Sam and Graham will continue to innovate within the consumer credit space to produce solutions that will tangibly help those who are in most need gain access to credit fairly and affordably.
“We’re here not just to get finance to businesses, but also to help innovators who create products that are going to make a positive impact in people’s lives not just here in Wales, but across the United Kingdom. The new platform developed will be of genuine benefit to financial institutions that need to comply with the FCA’s newly-introduced Consumer Duty regulations. We look forward to seeing their new platform go from strength to strength.”