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Manifestos pledge support for credit unions PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 April 2015

Support for a growing credit union movement features in both the Conservative and Labour manifestos for the General Election.

The parties vying to lead the Government as the largest in the next Parliament have underlined their long-standing commitment to the credit union movement with specific pledges in their election manifestos, which were published this week.

First to be released on Monday, Labour outlined their commitment to greater diversity in the financial services market and support to build the capacity of credit unions to offer affordable credit more widely, saying: “We will increase competition on the high street. Following the Competition and Market Authorities inquiry we want a market share test and at least two new challenger banks. And we will deal with the scourge of household debt by introducing a new levy on payday lenders, using the funds raised to boost low-cost alternatives like credit unions.”

This was followed on Tuesday by the Conservative manifesto, which emphasised the role of credit unions in widening consumer choice and improving access to financial services, saying: “Our plan is to ensure banks help secure our recovery and back businesses to create jobs and growth in our economy. We capped payday lenders, made it easier for you to switch your bank account and will continue to support the credit union movement in making financial services more accessible.”

ABCUL Chief Executive Mark Lyonette welcomed the manifesto commitments, saying: “It is a great tribute to the growing scale, profile and success of Britain’s credit union movement that we have achieved these formal pledges of support from both the largest parties, meaning whoever is Prime Minister after 7 May will have been elected on a manifesto including support for credit unions.

“Credit union membership in Britain grew by almost 30% during the last Parliament alone, and ensuring that all the main political parties support the development of the credit union sector has been a key goal of the Association for many years. We have been very successful in making this case in recent years.”

The previous Labour Government launched the Growth Fund to help credit unions make more instant loans to financially excluded people, and initiated the process of updating and modernising credit union legislation, which was picked up and completed by the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition Government with the passing of the Legislative Reform Order in 2012. The Coalition Government also launched the Credit Union Expansion Project to help modernise and sustainably grow the credit union movement.

Other parties are also releasing their manifestos ahead of the General Election, which is held on 7 May.

(Source - ABCUL News Release)  

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