The Just Finance Foundation (JFF) has published a new report looking at the role of credit unions and how the movement can be supported to play a bigger role: ‘More than Just Credit? The experience of credit unions building financial resilience in communities.’
The report explores the experience of a small sample of credit unions and community finance initiatives who are providing fair and affordable credit from within Just Finance Foundation’s Locals Network. It is JFF’s hope this piece of work will serve as a useful tool for credit unions to raise awareness of the important work contributed to local communities, as credible, ethical alternatives to mainstream finance.
The report shares stories from some credit unions, its members and the communities which they serve. Real-life case studies of credit unions were interviewed for the study, including Northumberland Community Bank, NE First Credit Union, Wolverhampton City Credit Union, and Dudley’s Castle & Crystal Credit Union.
Speaking about Northumberland Community Bank’s involvement, Chief Executive, Lauren Langton said: “Credit unions across the country offer fair and affordable savings and loans to everyone in the community. Northumberland Community Bank is all about serving our community and we’re all very proud of the significant contribution we have made in this important piece of work by the Just Finance Foundation, which demonstrates this.”
Rt Revd Richard Atkinson, member of Trustees at the JFF says: “The Just Finance Foundation has a vision to contribute to the creation of a fair and just financial system that is accessible and open to all. Credit unions, which offer fair, affordable finance, available to everyone in the local community, have an important role to play in that vision.
“I hope that in reading this report, you will be encouraged as I was. Encouraged to join your local credit union, and consider not just saving with them, but taking out your next loan from them. Encouraged, at an organisational or local authority level, to partner with local credit unions as key allies in a place-based approach to financial resilience. Above all, encouraged to believe that a fairer financial system is possible, one in which everyone can flourish.”
The full report is available on the Just Finance Foundation website here.