Last week, the Carnegie UK Trust was hosted by Linda Fabiani MSP at an event in the Scottish Parliament to share learning from its employer engagement pilot run through a credit union consortium with parliamentarians, employers and affordable credit stakeholders.
Comprised of 1st Alliance (Ayrshire) Credit Union, Castle Community Bank, East Kilbride Credit Union, Kingdom Community Bank and West Lothian Credit Union the consortium is undertaking a two-year pilot, funded by jointly between the consortium and the Carnegie UK Trust, seeking to double their number of employer-credit union partnerships, as well as encourage more innovation and collaboration across Scotland’s credit union sector.
The event shared the consortium’s progress and learning from the pilot scheme so far, and lead a debate on how credit unions can work together to deliver more affordable credit to people in Scotland.
Recognising the benefits of credit union payroll deduction schemes for employers and workers, last year the consortium recruited Graeme Mullin as a dedicated Employer Engagement Officer.
Speaking at the event, Graeme shared the successes and challenges during the pilot scheme, he said: “We could all benefit from some extra help to get on top of our finances, and building a savings habit is a big part of that.
“Many employers don’t realise the financial hardship that staff can be facing and the impact this has on their ability to perform their job well. Credit union payroll savings and loans are such an easy scheme for employers to put in place and deliver so many benefits.
“Scotland’s credit unions have been making a difference individually for many years. I am really pleased to be working for the consortium partners in this pilot which will help even more of Scotland’s workers reap the benefits of credit union membership”.
The event also heard from Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government. She said: “It was fantastic to learn about the work of the credit union consortium and the success these five credit unions have had in engaging with local employers and the benefits of working together.
“Credit unions contribute towards our aim of making Scotland a fairer and more equal country and I want to do what I can to grow the movement further so they can continue to put people before profit”.
Commenting on the support the credit union sector has received in the past year, Policy Officer for Scotland, Karen Hurst thanked the Scottish Government and Carnegie Trust UK, for its continued commitment to supporting the sector.
"For over 30 years, employers have used the services of credit unions in theworkplace to boost financial resilience by turning borrowers into savers. This evening has been an inspiring example of how cooperation between the consortium has benefited the communities they serve.
"The Scottish Government continues to be a great supporter of our sector with initiatives such as the 'People not Profit' campaign, support for schools savings initiatives and the endorsement of employer partnerships by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Together we can realise our shared ambition of making Scotland a Credit Union Nation.”
To find out more about the credit union consortium and the benefits of payroll deduction in the workplace, visit www.creditunionconsortium.co.uk
Source: Carnegie Trust UK