Credit Union membership grows to record levels

A further 28,000 people in the UK became members of a Credit Union in the year to Q2 2022, taking the overall membership of Credit Unions to a record 1.94 million people, analysis of the latest Bank of England data from Freedom Finance, one of the UK’s leading digital lending marketplaces, uncovers.

Credit Unions are also loaning record sums to members with total borrowing surpassing £1.87 billion in Q2 2022. It marks an increase of nearly a quarter of a billion pounds (£244 million) and a 15% increase compared to the same quarter in 2021.

Earlier this year, a report from the CSJ revealed as many as 1.08 million people are victims of loan sharks and called for changes to the Credit Union Act. Freedom Finance, a supporter of the CSJ’s Debt Policy unit, supports the call for reform.

Emma Steeley, CEO at Freedom Finance, commented: “Credit Unions play a vitally important role in plugging the gap for affordable credit, a problem that has become increasingly acute following the withdrawal of many short-term credit providers from the market.

“However, awareness of Credit Unions is a major problem and in the absence of other sources of legal borrowing, consumers can be forced into taking a dangerous course of action when they feel there are no other options open to them.”