‘£30 million lent and still relevant’
Twenty years on and the Manchester based Co-operative Credit Union remains as relevant as ever. With the prospect of millions of borrowers being hit by increased interest rates credit unions have never been more relevant. Chairperson Chris Smith said at the annual general members meeting “We are in good shape and have lent over £30 million since we started, and the future looks good in our 20th anniversary year of operation. However, if the credit union is to remain an asset to members it must remain relevant and continue to offer competitive loans”. He added, “It is clear that interest rates are about to rise from the historically low base we have grown accustomed to in recent years. Our members will be impacted by these forecasted rate rises. Indeed, around a quarter of our members have a household income of less than £20K per annum. As it was 20 years ago when the credit union was established our aim remains to provide members with a simple mechanism for saving and borrowing. I am extremely proud that from a relatively modest beginning the credit union has grown into a thriving operation, serving the needs of more than 8,000 members, and their families, drawn from a range of co-operative and mutual organisations across the UK.