Credit unions and financial inclusion on the agenda for Lloyds Banking Group
15 Mar 19
Senior representatives of ABCUL, Lloyds Banking Group, and the Minister for Pensions & Financial Inclusion, Guy Opperman MP, met this week at a wide-ranging roundtable discussion about how government and banks and others can support the expansion of credit unions.
"The appetite and widespread enthusiasm for credit unions' in the discussion was very encouraging for how government can support the financially vulnerable through the credit union sector", said ABCUL CEO, Robert Kelly.
Last month, LBG announced the 2018 grant winners for the LBG Credit Union Development Fund. This brings the total amount invested by the fund to £5 million across 103 awards in the last 5 years. Lloyds was represented in the roundtable discussion by Russell Galley, Chief Operating Officer of the Group who chaired the meeting.
Offering a perspective on financial inclusion in community credit unions was COO of Hope Federal Credit Union (Mississippi), Pearl Wicks, who spoke at the ABCUL Annual Conference. Pearl represented an American delegation from the national trade body for community development credit unions in the US, Inclusiv.
Pearl explained how Hope fulfils its mission of strengthening communities by building community partnerships, attracting inward investment into deprived communities and providing technical assistance activities on the development of small businesses, housing and community facilities.
The roundtable took place at Lloyds Banking Group’s Leeds base at Lowell Park and saw representatives of Leeds City Credit Union and Leeds City Council explain how their innovative partnership is delivering financial inclusion as a national example to other cities. Phil Andrew, Chief Executive of StepChange Debt Charity, based in the city, also participated and provided perspectives on credit unions from the debt advice world.
In a special video message published online by Russell Galley, Guy Opperman MP commented on the roundtable, saying: "it is part of an engagement that we're doing as part of Government and I welcome the private sector involvement. The real point that we're trying to do is to improve financial inclusion across the country, to make sure that we have real access to financial products and services and we're supporting credit unions going forward".
Robert Kelly added: "I thank Lloyds Banking Group on behalf of the entire UK sector. Their dedicated support in the last five years has had a huge impact on credit unions in order to serve their community and the spectacular figures of lending prove this. We are looking forward to continuing to build upon and deepen our partnership going forward."