New partnership for Council with West Cheshire Credit Union

20 November 2015

Cheshire West and Chester Council together with partners Cheshire & Wirral Partnership, Muir Housing, Plus Dane Group, Sanctuary group and Weaver Vale Housing Trust have commissioned West Cheshire Credit Union to work in partnership to provide practical saving and affordable lending facilities to residents and workers within the borough.

West Cheshire Credit Union is a not for profit, financial cooperative providing credit union services across Cheshire West and Chester. Established in 2004, the business has continued to grow with over 3,500 members. They have so far lent over £2.4 million to local people in small to medium sized loans.
 
The aim of the Credit Union is to provide safe and affordable financial services to all members of the local community and particularly to those who are unable to access main stream products.
 
Councillor David Armstrong, Cabinet Member for Legal and Finance, said: “The partnership will help the Credit Union develop their services and support local financial challenges.
 
“Through this partnership we hope to offer a real and affordable alternative to payday loans and doorstep lending.” The new partnership will work together to:
  • Offer an affordable/social credit service which can be easily accessed.
  • Encourage greater financial literacy amongst members.
  • Develop public awareness of credit union services.
  • Provide products which meet a range of needs, including people with low incomes and small businesses.
  • Support the availability of affordable credit. 
Neil Jay, Manager of West Cheshire Credit Union, said: “To secure this commissioning contract shows the major investment and importance partners place on ensuring their users have easy access to affordable credit.
 
“With the help and support from each of the groups involved we will be in a stronger position to bring heightened awareness of credit union services to a significant audience and in doing so support the financial needs of a cross section of the community.’’
 
For many people, credit unions remain the only locally owned, mutual and ethical alternative to mainstream financial service providers. Credit unions operate under the provisions of the Credit Unions Act 1979. They are regulated and supervised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) which is also responsible for the oversight of all other financial services providers in the country.
 
They also work with Co-operative Electrical to offer exclusive deals on electrical appliances from washing machines to the latest HD ready TVs, many of which are significantly cheaper than some high street weekly payment stores.
 
In addition, West Cheshire Credit Union provide services for young people including an outreach programme to raise awareness of the importance of budgeting and also develop products relevant to young savers, including developing school banks.
 
In partnership with the Council, West Cheshire Credit union will be establishing a payroll deduction scheme for Council employees along with encouraging small and large businesses in the district to offer a similar a scheme which allow employees to save directly from their salary.
 
Further details about the West Cheshire Credit Union visit www.wccu.co.uk
 



Councillor David Armstrong with Neil Jay of West Cheshire Credit Union.

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