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Credit union access for Armed Forces PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 April 2015

ABCUL has welcomed the Government’s announcement of £500,000 to help armed forces personnel access credit union services.

The funding, announced by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury Andrea Leadsom MP on 26 March, will be used to set up payroll deduction systems which will allow current personnel – and former Service personnel in receipt of a military pension – to save and make loan repayments to a credit union directly from their salary or pension.

The Ministry of Defence is in discussion with three credit unions to deliver this initiative: Plane Saver Credit Union, London Mutual Credit Union and Police Credit Union. The credit unions will change their membership criteria so that from this summer, more armed forces personnel can become credit union members and have access to easy regular savings and affordable loans.

Historically, some armed forces personnel have encountered difficulties in getting credit approved, due in part to moving regularly and not being able to build up a good credit rating. Some have also been targeted by payday loan companies.

The funding will be provided from fines on banks involved in the Libor-fixing scandal, which the Government is donating to military charities and other good causes.

Andrea Leadsom MP said: “I am delighted to announce that plans are underway to help armed forces personnel save with credit unions directly from their salary or pension.

“Military personnel have long faced difficulties accessing credit due to the mobile lifestyles required by their jobs, and it is right that fines from the small number who’ve demonstrated the worst of values will be used to support these military personnel who have served their country.”

Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Anna Soubry MP said: “It’s vital that we do right by those who put their lives on the line for their country – and that is why this government enshrined the Armed Forces Covenant in law in 2011.

“I’m delighted that we have put the wheels in motion to put right an issue that has caused disadvantage and disappointment to some personnel.”

ABCUL Chief Executive Mark Lyonette welcomed the announcement, saying: “This is excellent news for armed forces personnel across Britain, and we’re delighted that the Government has acted to give them access to credit union services.

“The largest credit union in the world – Navy Federal Credit Union – provides an invaluable service to American armed forces personnel during and after their service, and we are grateful to all who have supported the calls for a similar service to be available in Britain.

"This is a great example to all employers in the public, private and third sectors that offering credit union membership with payroll deduction is a major step to supporting employees' financial wellbeing."

(Source - ABCUL News Release)  


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