A RECORD number of people have joined West Cheshire Credit Union (WCCU) as an alternative to the major banks.
More than 3,000 members of WCCU have now saved more than £500,000 and it has provided loans worth more than £1.5 million over the past eight years.
Credit unions aim to encourage financial responsibility by providing a safe place for savings and they can offer affordable loans to members.
WCCU manager Neil Jay said: ‘’The popularity of credit unions is growing rapidly and we are delighted to report a record year once again and we anticipate 2013 will be equally busy.
“With the impending introduction of universal credit, social landlords are already engaging with us to discuss providing basic bank accounts to help facilitate this change in benefit payments.”
Over the next 12 months WCCU hopes to increase membership by working in partnership with communities.
Payroll deduction schemes are one of the fastest growing areas of WCCU and are designed to encourage people working for local companies to save via their salaries.
Member funds are fully covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme just like savings with banks and building societies.
“Our success has been built on a backbone of a strong, experienced team of staff and volunteers,” said Mr Jay.
“We’re lucky to have a highly competent board of directors with a wealth of experience from the business and finance sectors.
“As our regular financial audits confirm we are in good shape to build and grow which is great news for the local communities who are benefiting from our services.”