Expanding credit union encourages Fifers to save

Marlene Shiels, chief executive of Capital Credit Union, which is expanding its operations into Fife.

Marlene Shiels, chief executive of Capital Credit Union, which is expanding its operations into Fife.

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An Edinburgh-based credit union is expanding its operations and plans to help Fifers build up their savings.

Credit unions are being tasked with encouraging Scots to save more as part of a Scottish Government initiative.

And Capital Credit Union, which is moving into the Falkirk, Fife, Angus and Clackmannan areas, is keen to play its part.

Credit unions work within prescribed geographical footprints and Capital recently received approval from the Financial Conduct Authority to expand beyond its traditional base of Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Borders.

The most recent Scottish Government figures show that 24 per cent of the population have no savings at all, and a further 16 per cent have less than £1000.

Marelen Shiels, Capital’s chief executive, said: “We will work with other credit unions in the area to help boost the savings rate in Scotland. There seems to be, amongst other issues, a distrust of the financial services sector over the last few years, but people should bear in mind that credit unions offer ethical products and services.

“Credit unions can set up schemes with employers to allow their staff to save direct from payroll. It is a very simple process and encourages good savings habits. Research has shown that companies with such schemes benefit from reduced absence rates and fewer reported cases of financially related stress.”

Business Minister Fergus Ewing added: “The Scottish Government recognises the valuable role credit unions play in providing financial services and products to a wide range of customers and is committed to supporting and promoting the credit union sector in Scotland.

“The most successful credit unions attract a diverse membership and can play an important role in encouraging their members to save and borrow responsibly.

“I look forward to Capital working with other credit unions in Falkirk, Angus, Fife and Clackmannanshire to increase access to sustainable and affordable financial services for communities.”