Co-op Party Chair highlights the importance of credit unions to Minister
04 Jan 19
Last month in Parliament, Labour MP Gareth Thomas stressed the importance of credit unions in society and the need for expansion to deliver affordable credit across all communities.
The Co-op Party Chair asked of the Government to bring forward legislation to allow credit unions to provide low-cost credit cards and low-cost car loans and to invest in other social programmes such as energy co-operatives and housing schemes.
The request followed on from the announcements in the recent Budget on measures to assist credit unions to expand their role in delivering affordable credit across communities.
Gareth added in a follow-up letter to the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP, that with more high streets bank branches being removed from local communities, there is a serious need for the expansion of credit unions’ capacity to promote financial inclusion. As the sector grows it is becoming even better equipped to expand the services it is permitted to offer to members, he said.
In response to the Co-op Party Chairs comments, John Glen MP responded cited the Government’s Budget announcements, saying: "we have a series of measures to assist credit unions to expand their role in delivering affordable credit across communities. We have a scheme of work over the next three months to pilot interest-free loans and prize-linked saving schemes, to help credit unions to grow as they have been doing in recent years..
Commenting on the Budget announcements recently, ABCUL’s Head of Policy & Communications, Matt Bland said: “ABCUL is encouraged by the announcements from the Government in the Budget this week, particularly with the prize-linked savings pilot. Credit unions are all about encouraging people to save and prize-linked savings is an interesting way to encourage savers”.