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Labour Commits to Growing Credit Union Sector 

The Labour Party has released its proposals for reform of the UK financial services sector, including commitments to support credit unions and mutuals.

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Friday 9 February 2024

The Labour Party has released its proposals for reform of the UK financial services sector, including commitments to support credit unions and mutuals.

In its Financing Growth report, Labour says it will “unlock the full potential of the mutuals sector to support regional development” and “aim to double the size of the UK’s co-operative and mutual financial services sector”.

Following the announcement of the report, Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Tulip Siddiq MP said of the credit union sector following the published report, that the sector plays “an important role in supporting working people across the country to access affordable finance and gain greater control over their lives.”

Labour also urges that the structure of member-owned mutual organisations makes them more community-oriented than other banking institutions and supports the reforms in the Financial Services and Markets Act, allowing credit unions to offer more products.

The Party state it will build on the Act to require financial services regulators and policymakers to report annually to Parliament on how they have considered the specific needs of mutuals and the need for a level playing field with the wider financial services sector.

Last month, ABCUL attended a Westminster Roundtable discussion representing British Credit Unions and the vital benefits they bring to the economy and communities, alongside Gareth Thomas MP, Sir Mark Hendrick MP, Lord Naseby and Head of Co-operatives UK, Rose Marley.

“Talking with fellow advocates, it was paramount the interests of the sector will be prioritised by the next Government,” says ABCUL CEO, Robert Kelly. “As the sector continues to grow in members, loans and savings, it’s more vital now than ever to broadcast this wider with Government advocacy.”

Following the meeting, Rose Marley emphasised the themes raised in the roundtable in an interview on Sky News’ Business Live. Rose is a vocal supporter of the credit union sector and through her interview, she highlighted how member-owned businesses retain wealth locally and give more people ownership and control.

Robert added: “The Association and the British sector have strong ambitions to grow beyond our current capacity as we reach the milestone of 60 years of service and the enhancement of services following key legislation victories in Parliament.

“In 2023, the sector made great strides and milestones, which showed membership figures continue to rise to record-breaking heights and growth in lending increasing each quarter. This indicates that people need our sector as an alternative to high-cost credit more than ever and we at ABCUL will continue to champion our great sector.”

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