Credit Unions:Written question - HL4353

Q
Asked on: 20 December 2017
HM Treasury
Credit Unions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assistance they have given to credit unions in the UK in the last two financial years.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 08 January 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. In 2017, three credit unions with a total membership of 16,500 began using an online banking platform provided by this project.

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