Wolverhampton community bank saved borrowers £1.2m last year
Wolverhampton's biggest community bank saved local people £1.2 million in high interest loan repayments last year.
New figures show that since 2015 the Wolverhampton City Credit Union (WCCU) has saved its members £2.2 million they would otherwise have aid on high interest payday and doorstep loans.
The chair of the not-for-profit bank, Alfred Williams, said: "We have been tireless in our determination to take on the high interest lenders and loan sharks who target people on low incomes and blight our communities.
"Our growth in responsible, ethical lending means we’ve saved our members £1.2 million on high interest loan repayments in 2016/2017 – that’s a saving of over £2.2 million since 2015.
“That’s not only good news for individual members and their families. The more money they save on loan repayments, the more they can spend in their neighbourhoods, boosting the local economy.”
He added that the credit union had taken on doorstep lenders and loan sharks in local communities by setting up two pop-up credit unions in Low Hill and The Scotlands.
“This innovative development in 2017 has seen a growth in members, savings and ethical loans in those neighbourhoods, places that are cynically targeted by lenders who profit out of people’s financial desperation and who care little about the impact of problem debt.”
At the annual general meeting, credit union members voted in favour of a dividend of one per cent on their instant access savings for the year ending September 30, 2017.
The credit union also signed up five more local employers to its payroll deduction scheme in 2017 which enables local workers to save or repay affordable loans directly from their salary. Bushbury Hill Estate Management Board, Radleigh Metal Coatings, Gazebo and Woodlands Quaker Home join the credit union’s roll call of employer partners which includes City of Wolverhampton Council, Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and South Staffordshire Council.
The AGM also heard that the credit union had seen a 15 per cent increase in savings among members, up to just over £3 million, while its loans to local people rose 16 per cent to £1,427,395.
The credit union increased the amount of income it generated by nine per cent to £459,130 while the cost of bad debts was cut to £20,633.
Wolverhampton City Credit Union (WCCU) is a not-for-profit community bank that is owned and controlled by its members. It uses members’ savings to fund affordable loans to other members. The interest paid back from loans is used to fund a return – in the form of an annual dividend - on members’ savings.