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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Barrow and District credit union extends reach of services

AN ethical money-saving organisation which aims to help people steer clear of loan sharks and high-interest lenders is expanding to offer its services across a wider area of South Cumbria.

The South Lakeland Credit Union Study Group is not yet in a position to apply for authorisation to the Prudential Regulation Authority and become active.

So the Barrow and District Credit Union has extended its ‘common bond’ area.

That means it can now offer credit union services to people who live or work in Ulverston, Grange and Cartmel, as well as the various surrounding villages.

It includes the Cumbria County Council electoral divisions of Low Furness, High Furness, Ulverston West, Ulverston East, Grange and Cartmel.

Rob Cairns, chairman of Barrow and District Credit Union, which is based in The Mall, Barrow, said: “We are delighted to be able to extend our common bond so that we can offer credit union services to even more people who live or work within travelling distance of Barrow.

“When we opened a year ago, we were so disappointed to have to tell quite a few people, particularly from the Ulverston area, that we could not open a savings account or consider a low-interest loan for them.

“However, now we are delighted to be able to say ‘yes’ to them.

“I know our volunteer staff at our offices in 1-3 The Mall in Barrow are looking forward to welcoming customers from the Ulverston, Grange and Cartmel areas.”

The organisation is also extending its Saturday opening times following a successful three-month trial in the run-up to Christmas and New Year.

It will open its office in The Mall between 10am and 1pm on Saturdays for a further trial period of three months.

In the run-up to Christmas, the credit union issued 74 loans to the value of £30,900 and completed an average of four loan appointments per day.

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