Ministers announce funding boost for credit unions across Wales
Welsh Government Ministers have announced continued funding of just over £422,000 for credit unions, which offer support to people struggling with their finances.
Credit unions are not-for-profit organisations and are owned by the people who use their services, rather than by external shareholders or investors and can help those who might traditionally find it difficult to save through offering schemes such as payroll deductions.
They also offer Christmas savings schemes that only allow withdrawals in the lead up to the festive season, which helps people at an often-difficult time of year.
Marking today’s announcement, ministers have taken part in visits to credit unions across the country to help raise awareness of the services they provide, including ethical and affordable lending.
On a visit to Cardiff and Vale Credit Union alongside the Minister for Social Justice, the First Minister, Mark Drakeford said: “This time of year can be particularly difficult as people are left to deal with the cost of Christmas.
“We know this winter especially, during an unprecedented cost of living crisis, many are finding it very tough and, sadly, high interest doorstep lenders or loan sharks will prey on those suffering financial difficulties.
“I would urge those struggling to turn to their local credit union, which can provide access to fair and affordable credit – in support of our journey to promote social justice and tackle poverty across Wales.”
Mr Drakeford added: “While many of us may not even want to think about next Christmas, now could be the perfect time to consider starting to save. Credit unions can make that process easier.”
Social Justice Minister Jane Hutt said: “I would urge those who might be struggling and tempted to use high-cost credit to use their local credit union as a responsible alternative to other forms of lending.
“It is clear Welsh credit unions work incredibly hard, and I’d like to thank them for their commitment to providing ethical savings and affordable loans.
“They truly are a lifeline to people all across Wales.”
The funding of £422,334 per annum announced today if for the financial years 2023-24 and 2025-26.
The Welsh Government’s Credit Union Grant Programme is aimed at providing long term developmental support to boost the expansion of credit union services in Wales.
For more information visit: www.creditunionsofwales.co.uk
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