Businesses in Scotland must do more to cater for migrants and people of colour, according to a money and financial inclusion expert.

 Tynah Matembe is the founder of Moneymatix and the host of the Grow Your Money podcast.

Her new book, Thriving Beyond Borders: Managing Money in A New Country, is released this weekend and explores the stories of 10 migrants to the UK as they navigate their finances.

It offers insights to help newcomers manage their money, and for companies and policymakers on how more can be done to include migrants and people of colour.

She tells The Herald: "There are so many barriers to engaging with businesses. Everybody says that they up for equity and inclusion, but when it comes to accountability and putting money where their mouth is, they don't do it.

"One of the biggest things, one of the biggest culture shocks, is the whole credit scoring system. That's a very big barrier to entry.

"You don't know who the person is and so anyone that comes in here as a migrant is starting, you know, 10 steps back.

"In in most African countries the the whole credit system is very new. Most things are cash based and that is a whole different mindset of managing money.

"When you're coming from cash, credit can do one of two things: it can make or break you. You either think it's a whole lot of free money that's coming so misuse it or you're just averse to it.

"In the book I talk about a lady who got a credit card because she was told she needed it to get her mortgage. She was so scared of credit because of her cultural background that she just put the card in a drawer - she applied for it and got it but it still wasn't doing anything for her credit rating because it was just sitting in a drawer.

"That's something that the bank would never think about or understand.

"Interestingly people in that situation are mostly very trustworthy because when it's cash-based trust is what you're living on, you have to be trustworthy and your name and reputation is more important than anything.

"Then you come into a culture where your name and reputation is not worth anything. It's what you've done with money, your habits with money, that matter."

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It's something Ms Matembe has first-hand experience of, having moved to Scotland from Uganda with her husband.

She says: "We couldn't get banked for a few months.

"The biggest challenge was that we came with a lot of cash because, again, we're coming from a cash place, but then we couldn't get banked because we were under so much scrutiny for having a lot of cash.

"Then there's what's called the Poverty Premium, which is that if you don't have a credit rating you're typically assessed as being higher risk.

"I was a lawyer, my husband is an accountant, but because we had no footprint we were deemed high risk which meant our insurance was expensive, we weren't allowed access to services and, guess what, you can't even get accommodation because they want a reference and you're new."

Look at any statistic relating to migrants and it will reflect that people who come into the UK from elsewhere are more likely to have a job, less likely to commit crime and less likely to use services such as the NHS.

From a purely capitalistic point of view, then, wouldn't it make sense for businesses to make an effort to cater to those people?

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Ms Matembe says: "It would make so much sense, but let me tell you what I've found.

"I've been doing this since 2018 and you'd be surprised by just how much bias is out there.

"I remember having a conversation with someone who said that their organisation couldn't work with mine because I was typically working with migrants and people of colour: 'they don't have money', they said.

"They said that they typically serve an audience which is middle-aged and sitting on a lawnmower.

"I said, 'well, my husband is middle-aged and sitting on a lawnmower - but I wonder what gave you the impression that he wasn't?'.

"It's a very big missed opportunity because I can assure you that migrants are very hard working and very entrepreneurially driven."

Ms Matembe is also involved in helping international students to balance their studies, work and the restrictions of their visas - as well as helping universities to be more welcoming.

She says: "The international student marketplace is becoming very competitive.

"If the UK wants to retain a bigger population of international students we're going to have to do more to make them welcome.

"Canada has very great offers, there are others they can consider.

" To be honest, they are holding up the the the school system in Scotland. They pay through the nose so that the the the Scots can go to school free, or cheaper.

"It's very important that we start looking at them as valuable, not vulnerable."