House of Commons Library

Credit Unions

Published Monday, January 5, 2015

Can credit unions ever live up to governments' hopes?

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Credit Unions are often small savings and loans institutions with a strong community tie or bond. They are often run by a combination of paid and voluntary staff. Credit unions have a relatively small presence in the UK with the exception of Northern Ireland.

They have enjoyed broad political support actross successive governments and they have received sustained legislative and financial support to expand their operations, largely because they have seemed to provide an answer to a number of social or economic problems. However, the simple fact that they are in the midst of yet another 'growth' initiative after so many that have gone before, suggests that there are reasons why they have never met all the expectations of governments past and present.

Commons Briefing papers SN01034

Author: Tim Edmonds

Topics: Financial institutions, Financial services

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