Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies (Environmentally Sustainable Investment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:22 pm on 11th September 2020.

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Photo of Paul Howell Paul Howell Conservative, Sedgefield 12:22 pm, 11th September 2020

I agree with my hon. Friend. Credit unions are also the place where people first start saving, and they are regularly a first step for people getting out of high-finance debt traps. Security is paramount, because people must have confidence that when they put their money in, it will not be at any risk. It would be particularly concerning for those investing if the laudable aims of ethical ambitions resulted in those ambitions overriding the security of the investment.

In the 2020 Budget, the Chancellor announced that the Government would bring forward legislation to allow credit unions to offer a wider range of products and services. That will support credit unions to continue to grow sustainably in the longer term and to play a pivotal role in financial inclusion. In a speech to the Association of British Credit Unions in March this year, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury said:

“I am delighted to confirm that this week’s Budget included the announcement that the Government is to bring forward legislation to amend the Credit Unions Act. This will permit credit unions to offer a wider range of products and services than ever before…helping you better meet the needs of existing members.”