Credit Unions

The Church of EnglandArchbishop of Cantebury Justin Welby

A message from the Archbishop of Canterbury,
The Most Reverend Justin Welby:


Dear friends.

A large and growing number of people rely on short-term loans at very high interest rates to make ends meet, and can easily end up in a crippling spiral of debt. One million families are taking out payday loans every month as they struggle with rising living costs.

I have seen this myself in the communities where I have lived and worked, and it is devastating. But people often have little choice, especially in deprived areas of the country.

Our faith in Christ calls us to love the poor and vulnerable with our actions. That is why the Church must be actively involved in supporting the development of real lending alternatives, such as credit unions. This is not an optional activity, but a fundamental part of our witness and service to all God’s people.

We must help credit unions to become bigger, better known and easier to access if we want them to compete effectively with high interest lenders.

We have a unique opportunity to make a difference. We can begin simply by saving some money with our local credit union, using their services and encouraging others to do the same. Some churches are already doing this, so we know the difference it can make to the local community.

Please take this opportunity to consider how you and your church could serve your community in this way. I pray that together we can make a difference to some of those who are most in need.

With every blessing.

The Most Reverend
Justin Welby

+Justin Cantuar

The North London Credit Union (NLCU)

True Impact of Debt Measured in Enfield

Members of a local credit union have contributed to ground-breaking research on the impact of debt on individuals.

Leading research group Demos held a focus group at St Mary Magdalene’s church, Enfield with North London Credit Union borrowers, asking them questions about previous and current debts and their perception of the consequences, socially, legally and financially as well as the impact they felt that it had on their well-being.  

The report, titled ‘The Borrowers’, was launched this week at an event in Westminster. The North London Credit Union’s Financial Inclusion Manager, Julia Daniel, who was a speaker at the event, welcomed the report’s findings: ‘the research shows that responsible lending, such as that provided by credit unions, is key to giving people back control over their finances and over their lives. All financial service providers need to treat people as individuals and offer appropriate products at a reasonable cost. The report showed that sadly, this doesn’t always happen and that high-cost lending is damaging people’s mental health and in turn having a negative impact on their community.’

The report comes as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced tough new measures to crack down on the payday loan industry.

Notes:

  1. Demos (www.demos.co.uk) is Britain’s leading cross-party think-tank. Jo Salter, who authored the report, is senior researcher in their Public Services and Welfare Programme. The report is available to download for free here: http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/borrowers
  2. North London Credit Union has been operating in Enfield, Barnet, Waltham Forest, Haringey and parts of Hertfordshire since 1994 and offers financial services directly and through employers. To find out more about North London Credit Union, please go to www.northlondoncreditunion.co.uk or call 020 8366 8244.
  3. All savings in a credit union are fully covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and all credit unions are controlled by the Financial Conduct Authority and regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Support your local credit union

A credit union is similar to a bank, but unlike a high street bank it is run and owned by its members and serves the community rather than working purely for profit. Credit unions need a broad range of members in order to thrive. So, by taking an active part in a credit union you're helping it to help people in financial need to borrow and save responsibly.

Why not join a credit union?

North London Credit Union has been operating in Enfield, Barnet, Waltham Forest, Haringey and parts of Hertfordshire since 1994 and offers financial services directly and through employers. To find out more about North London Credit Union, please go to www.northlondoncreditunion.co.uk or call 020 8366 8244.

The Archbishop of Canterbury supports credit unions as part of a more ethical banking system. Visit www.churchofengland.org/creditunions for information and updates on how you and your church can help.

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Welcome to Saint Mary Magdalene, Enfield.