Blackpool credit union is gets Â£100,000 for growth
An organisation which lends money to people who might otherwise go to loan sharks has been given Â£100,000 by a high street bank.
Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Credit Union (BFWCU)has been awarded the cash by the Lloyds banking group, a share of a £1m funding pot being split between 21 credit unions for this year.
The huge grant is the largest awarded by Lloyds in this year’s funding round, and BFWCU is one of just four credit unions to receive the maximum amount.
The funding will support the credit union’s expansion in Preston and support the regulatory capital position, allowing the organisation to provide more loans to customers. Preston’s credit union, Guild Money, was established in 2014 and is managed by the same team which runs the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Credit Union.
Mike Barry, (pictured) chief executive of BFWCU and Guild Money, is delighted the bid was so successful.
He said: “We could not have imagined that we would be granted the maximum amount when we submitted our bid, it is fantastic news.
“This money will do so much to help people let down by the banks, for whom we can provide fair and affordable loans. We currently have 472 members in Preston and we hope this funding will allow us to provide our service to yet more people within the city.
“We would love to replicate the success of the BFWCU which has been going since 2009 and has more than 5,000 members.
“In that time, we have supported thousands of people with loans, helping them to sort out their finances in the short and longer term by providing a genuine alternative to the terrifyingly high interest rates charged by the high street and doorstep lenders.
“Many people still don’t understand much about credit unions and what we do, and they don’t realise that there is help out there if they are in debt, or even if they’re just looking for a fair loan.
“It’s a bit like a bank, offering savings and loans, but with a strict community focus.
“The more money we get in, the more we can lend out to people who need it, and so we can’t thank Lloyds enough for their support for what we’re doing here in Lancashire.”
Nick Williams, Lloyds ambassador for the North, said: “Credit unions play a vital role in local communities and these grants will help them to provide improved access to financial services. These grants underline our commitment to help Britain prosper”.