Credit Unions are a safe and reliable way of borrowing and saving money. However, membership of credit unions in Wales is low and many people don't fully understand what they are or the sort of help and advice they can give.
To help remedy this situation Social Justice & Local Government Minister Dr Brian Gibbons has launched a Wales-wide campaign to raise awareness and the profile of credit unions in Wales. He was joined by members of Cardiff and Vale Credit Union in the city centre to unveil the new Credit Unions Cymru brand and talk to shoppers about the benefits of joining a Credit Union.
Dr Gibbons said:
“The Assembly Government has placed credit unions high of its social justice agenda over the past decade, largely due to the role they play as providers of accessible, affordable savings and low cost loan services.
“There are now credit unions in every part of Wales and its possible for anyone living or working in Wales to become a credit union member, though at the moment the market penetration is only 1.83%, compared to 5.58% in Scotland.
“The recruitment of new members is an on-going challenge. This campaign is aimed at increasing public awareness of credit unions, particularly to those on low incomes, but also to public, private and third sector organisations who can help raise awareness among their own staff and clients. An all-Wales brand, Credit Unions Cymru, has been developed and there is a free phone number 0800 496 0865 and website www.wales.gov.uk/creditunions for further information.
“I want to get across the message that credit unions are trustworthy & reliable; in the current economic climate they offer great value loans & can help customers manage their money; they are owned by their members rather than by external shareholders looking to make a profit and they are fully regulated by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. They are certainly not just for people with little or no money and I would encourage everyone to join their local credit union,”
11 November 2009