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More parties back credit unions PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 April 2015

Support for a thriving credit union movement continues to be a theme as more parties publish their manifestos for the General Election.

Following supportive pledges in both the Conservative and Labour manifestos, the Liberal Democrats, SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party have now outlined their own policies for fairer access to credit and more diversity in the financial services sector.

The Liberal Democrats have been coalition partners with the Conservatives in the current Government which delivered legislative reform for credit unions and launched the Credit Union Expansion Project. In their 2015 manifesto, they pledge to: “grow a competitive banking sector, support alternative finance providers and improve access to finance for business and consumers.”

The Scottish National Party (SNP) currently forms the Scottish Government, and has given credit unions access to business support through Just Enterprise and the Enterprise Ready Fund, as well as promoting credit unions in public information campaigns and through Scotland’s Financial Health Service. In their General Election manifesto, the SNP pledge to encourage more challengers to mainstream financial services providers, particularly in the provision of credit to businesses.

In their manifesto, Plaid Cymru – the Party of Wales – highlight the importance of financial education, and pledge to: “investigate a windfall tax on payday lenders that can be used to promote credit unions and responsible lending.”

In the Green Party manifesto, they point to the work they did in the last Parliament to promote credit unions and lobby to remove barriers which put credit unions at an unfair disadvantage. They pledge to: “act to control payday lenders and offer alternatives” including credit unions, and to: “invest £2 billion in a network of community banks, mutually owned and serving local areas or particular groups.”

Meanwhile, the Scottish Green Party manifesto pledges to: “fight to create a banking system with banks of all types and sizes. That means supporting more cooperatives, credit unions, mutuals and small banks serving the local area, focussed on lending to local businesses.”

ABCUL Chief Executive Mark Lyonette welcomed the manifesto pledges, saying: “Building support across all the parties has been an important priority for ABCUL, and it is greatly encouraging to see that our vision of a strong, sustainable, growing credit union movement has resonated with politicians of all persuasions. At this exciting time for the development of Britain’s credit unions, we look forward to continuing that cross-party approach in the new Parliament.”

(Source - ABCUL Press Release)  


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