New initiative launched to help families save while they spend
A “ground-breaking” new way families can save money has been launched by a Yorkshire company.
Ffrees Family Finance has devised a scheme which allows retailers to automatically return a percentage of the money families spend in their shops to savings funds. More than 250 brands and retailers are participating, either at high street point-of-sale, or online.
Founded in early 2012 by chief executive Alex Letts, Ffrees Family Finance currently employs seven staff at their office in the Digital Campus in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
To support the on-going development of the business Ffrees has been provided with a joint seedcorn and equity linked investment from Finance Yorkshire. The investment will be used to finance the company’s service launch and expand its Sheffield base with the employment of more staff.
Alex Letts, Chief Executive of Ffrees Family Finance, said: “Ffrees is ground-breaking. It is an entirely new way to save. As you spend today, you painlessly save for tomorrow. So even as the family cash relentlessly pours out of the door, it is also quietly contributing to savings for things like university education.”
Ffrees’ retail partners return a percentage of up to 20 percent, depending on the retailer, of what people spend back to Ffrees Family Finance. These accumulate as “Ffrees” credits for members which are turned into savings plans, chosen by the member.
These plans are managed by Ffrees’ partner, SFIA Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Ffrees’ members are expected to see a return of up to 20 percent, depending on where they shop.
Alex added: “The highest Ffrees return on expenditure is 20 percent. This far outclasses most savings interest rates today. The fact is that most families tend to spend far more in a year than they have ever set aside for a rainy day, so this will make a significant contribution to any savings plan.
“This revolutionary idea of paying rates-of-return on expenditure towards long-term savings recognises valuable customers. It was time someone made a stand for families, for funding their education, and for getting them a better deal, and that’s what Ffrees is all about.”
Members can track the amount of Ffrees they have collected on online at www.ffrees.co.uk and at 250 will be able to choose their required savings options. Ffrees are moved to the savings account every time a member reaches 250.
The joint investment from Finance Yorkshire has been led by Heather Roxborough from the Seedcorn Fund and Ash Chopra of the Equity Linked Finance team.
Heather said: “On meeting the Ffrees team, we realised that this early stage business had developed a unique initiative which has the potential for large growth on a national level.
“Therefore, we devised a funding package which included both Seedcorn and Equity investments to meet the needs of the business and provide the required level of support needed over the long-term.
“A large number of well-known brands and retailers already participate in the scheme including Hiscox Insurance, Kuoni Holidays and Legal and General. They have seen the value of Ffrees Family Finance and we felt this was our opportunity to support a Yorkshire company to continue its exciting growth.”
Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.
The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15million from Yorkshire Forward’s Single Programme, and £45million match funding from the European Investment Bank.
For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit www.finance-yorkshire.com or ring 0845 649 0000.
Note: this news article is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire