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Social Justice Minister Praises Role of Credit Unions

The Welsh Government’s Social Justice Minister has praised the role of Credit Unions in widening financial access.

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Tuesday 23 January 2024

The Welsh Government’s Social Justice Minister has praised the role of Credit Unions in widening financial access.

Launching the newly-refurbished Blackwood Smart Money Cymru branch, Jane Hutt said she wholeheartedly endorsed the Credit Union movement.

Jane said: “I support all the work that the credit unions do and would encourage people to become members. The Welsh Government has a long and proud record of supporting credit unions across Wales.

“They provide an excellent way to improve financial resilience, through offering savings products and ethical loans. Credit unions are there for everyone in our communities, supporting households to access affordable credit locally, and to save a little extra for when it is needed. It is so important that people can access affordable and ethical finance, especially the most vulnerable in society”.

Jane congratulated staff at Smart Money Cymru who had revitalised the Blackwood branch, which would, she said, boost the profile of the organisation in the area.

The former Islwyn Credit Union in Blackwood, now part of the larger Smart Money Cymru Credit Union network in Caerphilly and Tredegar with more than 7,000 members, has benefited from the major revamp during Lockdown.

As well as its new, fresh look, the branch now boasts improved technology enabling a wider range of services. Customers now benefit from a phone app for balance-checking and access to the Engage Current Account which supports direct debits, standing orders, and processing of card payments.

While many traditional banks are retreating from Britain’s high streets, the Blackwood credit union branch now has a new, upgraded interior and better facilities for staff, following grant support for the works from the Welsh Government and Caerphilly County Borough Council.

Chairman of Smart Money Cymru Alun Taylor said: “We are delighted that Jane Hutt is here today to relaunch the new branch, of which we are extremely proud. It is an acknowledgement of the important role Smart Money Cymru has played in supporting the community in these difficult times.”

Smart Money Cymru recently celebrated 30 years, having grown into a sophisticated organisation offering a wide variety of financial services to individuals, businesses and charities.

Source – South Wales Argus

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