Cllr Alexander Stafford had the privilege to address a reception at the House of Lords on the need for credit unions.
Credit unions are member-owned financial cooperatives operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit and other financial services to their members.
Speaking alongside the Rt Hon. Lord Hunt of Wirral MBE, Angela Hampson, Chair of the Credit Union Foundation, and Lord Kennedy of Southwark, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions, Cllr Stafford highlighted both the need and importance of credit unions to provide financial services.
Credit unions offer members access to fairly priced financial services and encourage the development of good financial practice. They support the communities where members are based and are committed to doing business in a way that contributes to the social, economic and environmental well-being of the communities in which they operate.
At the reception, Cllr Stafford was pleased to meet with representatives from the Polish Credit Union UK who were in attendance and are based in Ealing Broadway.
During his speech Cllr Stafford commented “The economic development of the UK is underpinned by the financial stability of society and we believe that credit unions are an important part of community financial management…during the recession we have seen a worrying increase in the use of doorstep lenders –loan sharks – along with an increasing habitual adoption of payday loans. With their exorbitant interest rates, this is clearly not a viable or decent way for people to live. These high rates are damaging to communities. We recognise that there is an alternative, and believe that credit unions are a key part of restoring confidence to the financial landscape in this country, whilst becoming lynchpins of the local community.”
Cllr Stafford with Rt Hon. Lord Hunt of Wirral MBE, Angela Hampson, Chair of the Credit Union Foundation, and Lord Kennedy of Southwark, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions
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