New officers of the Cross Party Group on Credit Unions elected

By Patrick Thorpe posted 06-12-2019 13:15:25


From the Scottish Parliament, ABCUL is delighted to confirm that, following a successful AGM last week, two new officers of the Cross Party Group on Credit Unions have been elected.

Angela Constance MSP, a former Cabinet Secretary with responsibility for credit unions, and Claudia Beamish MSP, a long-serving supporter of the group, take up co-convener roles. ABCUL is pleased to be continuing to support the group as Secretariat.

The group was previously convened by Ruth Maguire MSP, who joined as convener following the group’s re-establishment in 2016. During this time the cross party group has discussed issues as diverse as insolvency law, technological investment and financial wellbeing in the workplace, and has been an effective forum for the sector to come together and discuss and promote the issues most affecting credit unions.

Robert Kelly, Chief Executive of ABCUL, said: “I’m delighted that Angela and Claudia will be working with us to support the Cross Party Group moving forwarded – it’s clear from their records in Parliament that both are real supporters of the movement, and I’m confident that we can achieve lots more by working with them.

“I’d like to put on record my gratitude to Ruth Maguire and her team, who carried out so much work not just for the Cross Party Group, but to ensure credit unions have a voice in the Scottish Parliament. Moving forward, we’ve already started working in plans for meetings in 2020, and would encourage any credit union that wants to suggest a meeting topic  to get in touch with the ABCUL team”.

Angela Constance MSP said: “I am delighted to join the cross party working as a co-convener with Claudia Beamish MSP, ABCUL and the wider credit union movement. I have taken a close interest in credit unions for many years given the contribution West Lothian Credit Union has made in my own constituency.

“Within Parliament, I have been raising the potential benefits of credit unions having access to financial transactions and I'm pleased that this year's Programme for Government had a commitment for a £10m fund for loans. Going forward I want to work constructively and collaboratively with the sector, all spheres of government and colleagues on a cross party basis to ensure that the credit union movement in Scotland reaches its full potential.”

Claudia Beamish MSP said: “I am proud to share the joint convenership of the Scottish Parliament cross-party group for credit unions with Angela Constance.  As a member of the Scottish Coop Party Group of MSPs, I am very committed to membership models where people and workers matter most.  I am very eager to support and promote the wide range of credit unions including employer ones such as for the NHS.  As well as offering services to those unable to hold a bank account or access loans, credit unions are an excellent vehicle for savers. 

“As an MSP for South Scotland, I am keenly aware of how marginalised many people are in rural areas from access to banking and to finance. I would like to see the geographical reach of credit unions extended.  As an ex-teacher, I am also keen to help develop educational resources to help raise awareness of ethical finance and the value of credit unions.  I look forward to our meetings and actions in the coming year.”