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Children’s Savings Options for a Future Account

Children’s Savings Options for a Future Account – Issues Paper

Response to HM Treasury from the Association of British Credit Unions Ltd (ABCUL)

Introduction

We welcome the opportunity to respond to this consultation. ABCUL is the main trade association for credit unions in Britain. The Association represents approximately 70% of credit unions in England, Scotland and Wales who in turn represent about 85% of credit union membership.

At the end of March 2010, credit unions in Great Britain were providing financial services to 761,708 adult members and held £599 million in deposits with £474 million out on loan to members. There were also 107,077 young people saving with credit unions.

An ABCUL survey carried out in August 2010 demonstrates the scale of work that credit unions already carry out to encourage savings among children and young people:

  • 78% of credit unions reported offering accounts for junior savers
  • 44% of credit unions operated collection points in schools – and many of these also contribute towards financial education work
  • 22% of credit unions work in Sure Start Centres

Twenty-three credit unions are currently offering Child Trust Funds (CTF) which are simple to operate.  And given the scale of involvement credit unions have in providing services for families, we envisage a bigger involvement should a successor to the CTF become available.

Credit unions are experts at mobilising families on lower incomes into the saving habit and are keen to work with the Government to build on this work.

Download the full response on the right