ABCUL welcomes report on Welsh Government support for credit unions
19 Mar 13
ABCUL has welcomed the recent publication of an evaluation report on Welsh Government support for the credit union sector in Wales.
The report commends the progress made by the Access to Financial Services Through Credit Unions programme which has provided almost £3.5 million in investment in 17 Welsh credit unions since 2009 and closes in September this year.
The report finds that the support programme has made a “reasonable contribution” to credit union development in Wales coinciding with a “healthy growth in both credit union membership and asset base”. In light of this positive progress, it recommends that the Welsh Government continues to support the credit union sector in Wales following the conclusion of the programme later this year.
However, the report also identifies a key tension that exists in current policy objectives for the sector in that the focus on tackling financial exclusion is diverting attention away from the challenge of assisting the sector to achieve financial self-sustainability. It recommends that any future support confronts this tension and allows for greater scope to achieve self-sustaining credit unions in Wales.
Commenting on the report ABCUL Chief Executive, Mark Lyonette, said: “We welcome this report and congratulate the Welsh Government on what it has been able to achieve since 2009.
“We also welcome the report’s identification of the need to focus efforts on developing a financially sustainable credit union sector. The UK Government’s Credit Union Expansion Project proposes a collaborative approach to addressing these challenges by improving the quality and consistency of credit union services.
“ABCUL and its members look forward to working with UK and Welsh Governments to ensure that credit union services are available for all by achieving sustainable development together.”