Cheshire East Council and Cheshire Neighbours Credit Union (CNCU) have celebrated International Credit Union Day, an annual event to recognise the role that financial cooperatives play in improving peoples’ lives and the wellbeing of communities.
Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, and John Weir, Chief Executive Officer at CNCU, met at Sandbach Library to discuss joint efforts by the two organisations to protect the public from loan sharks and payday lenders.
Earlier this year, Cheshire East became the first local authority in England to ban access to the top 50 payday lender websites in its libraries and public buildings. It also assisted CNCU, a not-for-profit organisation, to open branches in six libraries for at least two hours per week, when information and support is provided by library staff trained in the credit union’s services.
Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said, “The council’s aim is to protect residents from payday lenders and help them to avoid taking on credit at high interest rates. The Cheshire Neighbours Credit Union does valuable work by providing people with an important alternative source of finance and the council takes every opportunity to encourage people to join.”
As part of its pledge to support the credit union, every member of Cheshire East’s cabinet and some councillors joined CNCU in order to boost funds to give local people more services based on their borrowing needs.
Mr Weir said: “We have been working in close partnership with Cheshire East Council which supports our work. We are making it easier for members and non-members to open accounts and access our services at locations convenient to them. There has never been a better time to join and take advantage of our range of savings accounts and affordable loans.”
International Credit Union Day, on October 16, recognises how credit unions provide an effective and viable alternative to for-profit financial institutions for 203 million members in 103 countries.