Credit Unions

Treasury written question – answered on 30th March 2010.

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Photo of Bob Russell Bob Russell Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his policy is on the provision of (a) financial and (b) other support for credit unions; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Sarah McCarthy-Fry Sarah McCarthy-Fry Parliamentary Secretary, HM Treasury

Government have set aside almost £100 million as Growth Fund money for onward lending by credit unions and community development financial institutions. Over 240,000 credit union members have benefited from these loans to date with the average loan being around £450.

The Legislative Reform Order for Industrial and Provident Societies and credit unions is currently passing through Parliament using the super-affirmative procedure, while the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies and Credit Unions Act received Royal Assent on 11 March.

We announced at Budget 2010:

"The Government will continue to work to improve the supply of affordable credit for low-income households, including by supporting third sector lenders. It will consult on options to make sure banks make an appropriate contribution to community lenders through regulatory action or a new community levy to be funded by retail banks".

These initiatives show the Government's commitment towards credit unions and other mutual societies in the role they play in providing greater choice and diversity in the financial services sector.

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