Increasing access to affordable credit – Scottish Government News

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Creating healthy balance sheets for Credit Unions.

More people will have greater access to affordable credit and savings plans through a new £10 million fund.

Announced as part of the Programme for Government, the Credit Union Investment Fund will support credit unions to increase financial inclusion and help them to grow.

The Fund, which will open next spring, will be supported by a new Credit Union strategy that will improve credit union systems and increase their provision of affordable credit, reducing the cost of borrowing and offering savings opportunities in a responsible way.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:

“Credit Unions are driven by a singular purpose: to serve their members, rather than to make profits for a select few.

“While more than 410,000 people in Scotland are already members of a credit union, we want them to become more mainstream so more people can benefit from their ethical services.

“This is particularly so for people who are unable to access mainstream financial services or have limited choices on where to go to borrow money so can feel forced to turn to high cost lenders who can exploit their vulnerable position.

“Credit unions offer saving plans as well as repayment rates that are affordable and tailored to the borrower’s income.

“By working with the sector to deliver this fund and strategy, we can enable it to develop and flourish.”

Background

Credit unions are member-owned financial co-operatives, meaning they exist only for the benefit of the people who  use their services. They are not-for-profit and, as such, any money they make goes right back into providing competitive rates on savings and loans. 

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