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Diocese of Worcester invests with credit union
THE Diocese of Worcester has deposited £15,000 with a credit union in a bid to help residents access affordable financial services.
The Church of England’s county office handed over the money to the Castle and Crystal credit union.
It comes after the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, urged churches to work with credit unions, which offer low-rate loans, to enable more people access to “local, ethical and affordable financial services”.
“With a well-established credit union in our community, it gives people in need of affordable financial services somewhere to turn and helps them to make ends meet,” said Robert Higham, diocesan secretary for the Diocese of Worcester.
“As well as investing some of our Social Responsibility Fund money into the union, we will be encouraging local church members to think about whether they might be able to open a deposit account as a way of investing money which they might need in the future, but which could be put to good use in the meantime.”
Credit unions work as cooperatives, so there are no external shareholders and they will only lend money that has been deposited with the union by its members.
In July, the Most Rev Welby told pay day loan firm Wonga that the Church of England would try to force it out of business by helping credit unions compete with it.
“I met the head of Wonga and we had a very good conversation and I said to him quite bluntly ‘we’re not in the business of trying to legislate you out of existence, we’re trying to compete you out of existence’,” he told Total Politics magazine.
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