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Credit unions gather in Scottish Parliament to hear success stories


05 Oct 18

The Cross Party Group on Credit Unions met in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 2nd October, to hear from a number of credit unions on their successful partnerships.

The meeting was hosted by Convener of the Cross Party Group on Credit Unions, Ruth Maguire MSP. It was also attended by Claudia Beamish MSP, Clare Adamson MSP, and Linda Fabiani MSP, as well as a number of credit unions from throughout Scotland.

Steven Sherriff, a director of East Kilbride Credit Union, spoke about the Home Start Deposit Scheme they launched last year, which has already enabled a number of first-time buyers in South Lanarkshire to get into the property ladder. 

The meeting also heard from Carol McHarg, of 1st Alliance Ayrshire Credit Union about their involvement in ‘Better Off North Ayrshire’ – a partnership with the local authorities and others to improve the financial circumstances of those living in the community. In the past year, through the scheme, 123 people have benefitted from affordable loans, and 52 people have benefitted from affordable furniture.

Also, Beth Welsh, of Pioneer Mutual Credit Union, contributed to the meeting as she recently was awarded a scholarship to participate in the Global Woman’s Leadership Network. Beth is putting together plans to launch a women’s network within credit unions in Great Britain, and spoke about the importance of equal representation within credit unions.

The meeting was an opportunity for credit unions to hear an update on the Scottish Government’s credit union awareness raising campaign, due to launch in November.

Commenting on the meeting, ABCUL’s Scottish Policy Officer, said: “It’s great to see credit unions in Scotland working together at these meetings to influence the Government in this way. Scotland leads the way in Great Britain for levels of credit union membership with Glasgow having the largest membership of any British city where 1 in 4 citizens belong to a credit union.

“The Scottish Government has been a great supporter of credit unions for many years and we are delighted that it continues to support the role of credit unions to provide access to affordable and ethical financial services in its commitment to the launch of the awareness campaign”.

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