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Credit Unions

Question for HM Treasury

UIN HL5839, tabled on 23 February 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action have they taken to support credit unions in the last two years.

Answered on

6 March 2018

The government is committed to supporting credit unions, which provide vital services to financially under-served communities and contribute to the diversity of the UK’s financial services sector. Over the last two financial years, the government has done this by:

  • Announcing at Autumn Budget 2017, that where a credit union’s membership conditions are based on locality, a credit union will be able to increase the number of potential members it can have to from 2 to 3 million. The legislation to make this change was laid in November 2017 and comes into force in April 2018.

  • Announcing at Autumn Statement 2016 that, from 2018, an existing scheme which incentivises credit union membership in communities at risk of being targeted by loan sharks, will be expanded. This uses funds recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act from convicted loan sharks.

  • Contributing £600,000 to an initiative developed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Young Enterprise, to start savings clubs in primary schools and educate young children in the benefits of saving. Lifesavers works with local credit unions to help run savings clubs with schoolchildren, and is currently being piloted in six primary schools.

  • Providing funding for the Credit Union Expansion Project, delivered by the Association of British Credit Unions Ltd, with an aim to modernise and grow the sector. Over the past year, credit unions with a total membership of 16,500 have begun using an online banking platform provided by this project.

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