- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Latest News
The funding will go towards encouraging more people to use credit unions. It will also help the institutions to develop the services and products they provide for customers so that credit unions become a more visible and widely available source of affordable financial services. £612,000 of the funding will support the work of Welsh credit unions for another six months, from October through to March 2014. This money will allow the extension of a three year Welsh Government backed programme to increase assets and membership of credit unions, which was due to end in September.
The offer of an additional £1.25 million is dependent on credit unions providing a business case setting out how they will significantly extend their reach and services. Credit unions offer people an alternative to payday loans and the Minister is concerned about the rise of payday lenders in Welsh high streets. He has submitted evidence to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) consultation on referring the payday loan market to the Competition Commission and met with OFT officials.
The Welsh Government has challenged credit unions to provide additional financial services and products to meet the needs of customers.
There are 21 credit unions providing all Wales coverage. As at the end of March 2013, there are 32 credit union offices, with a total of 264 collection points throughout Wales. The Welsh Government is on target to meet its goal of 6% (approximately 143,000 people) of the population being members of a credit union by 2020.