Posts Tagged ‘credit union’
Minister for Local Government and Communities Carl Sargeant has welcomed a television advertising campaign aimed at making people more aware of what credit unions do and the help they can offer.
The advertisement has been commissioned by The Social Investment Business on behalf of Welsh Credit Unions and will hit our screens this week.
In order to highlight Credit Unions as an alternative to high cost providers the advertisement explains that Credit Unions do not charge arrangement fees, have no hidden costs and will charge no more than £68 interest on every £500 borrowed over a period of twelve months.
Scheduled during primetime slots on ITV daytime television the adverts will run for a four week period and will encourage people to telephone the credit union helpline or visit the website to find out more.
The launch of the advertising campaign comes in the same week that an independent evaluation of the Welsh Government’s Access to Financial Services Through Credit Unions Project is published.
Carl Sargeant said:
“Our programme for Government includes a commitment to deliver our Access to Financial Products through Credit Unions Project. The evaluation of phase one of this project considers how effective the project has been so far in supporting a well managed, sustainable movement that can deliver credible and professional financial products and services.
“I am pleased that the report has recommended that the Welsh Government and WEFO continue to fund the project. As well as meeting most of its phase one WEFO targets, the report found that phase two of the project is also on course to achieve its targets.
“I welcome the efforts being made by Credit Unions in Wales to raise the profile of the work they do to support people in communities around Wales. This advertising campaign is a further step forward in bringing to light the important work Credit Unions do.
“In the current economic climate and pressures on family budgets, it is important that people who consider taking out a payday or other loans from higher cost lenders know that more affordable alternatives are available.”
Source: Welsh Government
Today is International Credit Union Day.
Why are credit unions so important?
Credit unions operate differently from most high street banks. If you are a customer of a credit union, you are also a member and a stakeholder. You can have a say in how it is run.
Credit unions can provide loans to people who might not be able to get them from high street banks. They can be more flexible – for example, you may have to save a certain amount with your credit union before you are eligible to apply for a loan.
As not-for-profit cooperative institutions, credit unions use excess earnings to offer members more affordable loans, a higher return on savings, lower fees or new products and services.
Credit unions and financial co-operatives use member’s savings to finance loans to individuals and small businesses. They do not use outside sources to make money which protects them from the vagarities of the stock market, making them a safer place to put your money.
Fair access to financial services
Credit unions offer finacial services to more people than the average high street bank would. For example, people in housing associations or people with less than impressive credit ratings.
These groups are open to loan sharks or hiding their life savings in mattresses. In some parts of the world, people are forced to take long and dangerous trips just to visit the nearest financial institution.
- More than 186 million people worldwide in 97 countries belong to a credit union
- There are 22 credit unions in Wales
- The credit union movement in the US is much bigger than the UK
- There are 2,949 credit unions in the US, the top one has assests of $24 billion
- In the US, business is routinely financed by credit unions
- Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands are sometimes cited as the pioneers of credit unionism and have many Co-operative Banks
- The European Association of Co-operative Banks reported 34 million members in Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands at the end of 2005