The Government is to invest up to £73 million in credit unions over the next four years, with the Post Office potentially playing a central role in delivering credit union services.
The Association of British Credit Unions (Abcul) welcomed the financial boost. Mark Lyonette, chief executive of Abcul, said: ‘We are delighted to learn that the Government is going to make up to £73 million available to continue the expansion and modernisation of credit unions over the next four years. We also welcome the Government’s commitment to providing access to credit union accounts through the Post Office network.
‘Credit unions have shown they can provide the financial products and services that people on lower incomes need – and want – but often struggle to get elsewhere. By linking up with the Post Office, credit unions will be able to reach many more families, making access to credit union services – such as bank accounts, bill payments, safe savings and low cost credit – that much easier.’
Which? Principal Researcher Martyn Saville welcomed the news: ‘Thousands of consumers struggle to access mainstream lending and find themselves forced to turn to expensive payday loan companies, doorstep lenders or worse. Credit unions play a vital role in providing not just affordable credit, but also in encouraging people to save and supporting local communities.
‘Linking up with the Post Office will enable many more consumers to make full use of the excellent facilities on offer from their local credit union, and will offer a welcome fillip to local post offices themselves.’
For more information on finding your local credit union and how they work, read the Which? guide to saving and borrowing with a credit union.
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