Growing Awareness of Credit Unions helps tackle poverty
18 Oct 2012 01:05 PM
Credit unions are helping to tackle poverty by offering a low cost way to borrow money and ensuring that people have a convenient alternative to the extremely high interest rates of doorstep and payday lenders, Local Government and Communities Minister, Carl Sargeant said yesterday.
The Minister marked International Credit Union Day by highlighting research that showed growing awareness of the benefits of credit union membership in the South Wales Valleys – up from 14% to 45%.
To assess public awareness of credit unions in Wales, the Welsh Government commissioned three questions in the Wales Omnibus Survey in June 2012.
The Minister said that with a network of 34 Credit Union offices and 256 collection points across Wales, credit unions now operate close to many communities and offer convenient access to a safe way to save and borrow.
Carl Sargeant said:
“As ethical providers of basic financial services, credit unions play a vital part in delivering on the Welsh Government’s commitment to tackle poverty. This is especially important in deprived communities in places like the South Wales Valleys.
“It’s great to see that people are increasingly aware of credit unions and I would encourage everyone to join their local outlet. Members can benefit from personal loans at affordable rates of interest and so avoid taking out high cost loans from payday loan companies and doorstep lenders.
“Credit unions are an important part of our efforts to tackle poverty and develop responsible and affordable credit options for everyone in Wales.”