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Continued support for Credit Union co-operatives is vital

Blog post   •   May 07, 2014 14:50 BST

Credit Unions play an important role in our country, providing a safe, ethical alternative to doorstep and payday lenders. Credit Unions offer responsible banking services to everyone in Wales.

Credit Unions are co-operatives and they work to co-operative values. They are a crucial element of  work to tackle poverty and in addressing some of the major financial issues that families in Wales face today.

We welcome the Welsh Government’s recent statement which outlines and reiterates its support for the Credit Union movement in Wales. Read the statement here.

The Wales Co-operative Centre’s past and current work with Credit Unions has helped build the movement and has made a positive contribution to the overall approach to financial inclusion in Wales.

For example, our work to increase the take up of Credit Union Rent Accounts is helping people in receipt of benefits to secure their tenancies. It is also raising awareness of the services and benefits of using Credit Unions overall.

In the past, we helped to facilitate the merger of five Credit Unions in North Wales which became North Wales Credit Union. We continue to support Credit Unions looking to achieve more from collaborative working and consortium approaches.

We firmly believe that increased awareness of credit unions and the rising take up of credit union accounts across all members of our society is essential. Credit Unions are not just there for emergencies; in fact they need our involvement and investment throughout the good times to ensure they are able to support us during the bad times. Sustainability is essential and we all have a part to play in that.

These are important times for Credit Unions and the opportunities are there to build a strong, vibrant and sustainable Credit Union sector in Wales. We are delighted to be able to continue to play our part in helping Credit Unions grow and continue to provide the essential services they offer to the people of Wales.

Derek Walker, Chief Executive, Wales Co-operative Centre

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