Wales Co-operative Centre

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Credit unions can help increase diversity in financial services

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The Government has an aim to increasing diversity in financial services, and Mark Lyonette, Chief Executive of the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL), thinks they are in an ideal position to help.

Speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference, Mark Lyonette explained how credit unions now serve nearly a million people in England, Scotland and Wales and sought reassurance from Financial Services Secretary Mark Hoban that the Coalition Government would support the sector to expand and serve more people.

“Once new legislation is in place – and we sincerely hope that any further delays can be avoided – many more individuals, as well as local community groups and businesses,  will be able to access credit union services.

“We are confident that everyone in Britain will soon be able to join a credit union and have the option of a mutual and local home for their money.

“I look forward to seeing how the Government’s aims of fostering diversity and promoting mutuals will translate into action to support the growth of the credit union sector.”

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mark Hoban MP, who also spoke at the fringe meeting, said: “The Government supports credit unions as part of its policy commitment to foster diversity in financial services, promote mutuals and create a more competitive banking industry.

“I believe that strong credit unions, as part of a diverse financial services sector, will greatly enrich British society. It is in our interest, therefore, that the credit union movement should prosper and we are determined to help credit unions grow and expand into the future.”

Source: ABCUL

Wales Co-operative Centre offers advice and support to credit unions in Wales.

Written by C Kenzie

October 15, 2010 at 8:13 am

The Big Society

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“Big Society” is a buzz phrase that’s gathering speed at present. I was even asked a question about it in a recent YouGov survey.

So what is ‘Big Society’?

To quote the website The Big Society “The Big Society is a society in which we as individuals don’t feel small”.

The Big Society Network is an organisation being set up by frustrated citizens for frustrated citizens, to help everyone achieve change in their local area.

Their aim is to create a new relationship between citizens and government in which both are genuine partners in getting things done: real democracy using all the human and technological tools we now have available. Business and the voluntary sector will also be involved.

Most people don’t think they have an influence in local decisions, let alone ones of national importance. Big Society Network add “We are often anonymous tax-payers without a real sense of how our money gets spent. We feel anger and frustration at the recent behaviour of both the City and Westminster and relatively powerless to change them.

“Our aim is to not only create the largest co-operative or mutual in Britain, but to create a mutual that is Britain. Every citizen can be a shareholder, contribute, receive help and rewards.”

For more information, visit www.thebigsociety.co.uk

Read their blog for a closer look at the activities going on around the UK as ‘Big Society’ gathers momentum. There’s even a proposal for a ‘social app’ store for smartphones.

The Wales Co-operative Centre offers business and development support for co-operatives and social enterprises.

Written by C Kenzie

September 22, 2010 at 9:40 am

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