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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Loan shark fears sparked by Millom Credit Union ban

A SECOND ban has been imposed on a credit union – leading to fears of residents turning to loan sharks.

The Financial Services Authority imposed an embargo on Millom Credit Union from December to the beginning of February preventing the union from lending money or allowing members to access their savings after the union failed to file its 2010/2011 accounts on time.

As a knock-on effect of failing to file those accounts, the union was late again in filing its documents for 2011/2012, and the FSA has now imposed another ban which started at the end of February.

The credit union said it has not been informed of when the ban will end.

Credit union chairwoman Tess Fitzwilliam, from Haverigg, says the problems were caused after government regulations compelled the union to upgrade its IT systems.

She said: “We know our accounts are good, it’s just that we are unable to prove it yet. Our members have been very supportive and they just want us to keep open.”

Cumbria County Council has since provided a £2,900 emergency grant to allow the union to appoint an accountant. Mrs Fitzwilliams added: “We just don’t have the admin abilities to change all our members’ accounts over, so there have been mistakes and gaps.”

Credit union member and former councillor, Robin Pitt, said: “Services seem to be going in Millom, we have lost the police station, the registrar and now they seem to be trying to get rid of the credit union.

“They don’t seem to understand that for a poor person looking for a loan it’s hard to go to Barrow or Whitehaven.

“I think if the credit union were to close, people could turn to loan sharks.”

Have your say

Appalled by the attitude of the staff in Millom Credit Union, they just frown and apolagise because they cant give answers. Its not the members who never got the books in on time, take a bit of the blame!

Posted by Ann Gree on 17 April 2013 at 09:53

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