WORCESTER MP Robin Walker has been appointed to the top job on a parliamentary group that scrutinises the credit union industry.

At a meeting in the House of Commons today (Oct 15), Mr Walker was installed as chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions.

He has replaced Damian Hinds MP as head of the group, which was has about 170 members from all parties and in both Houses.

The move follows Mr Walker's work in encouraging credit unions back into Worcester after the Black Pear Savings and Loans went bust in 2011.

There are now two credit unions operating in the city – Six Towns and Castle and Crystal.

Mr Walker said: "It is a real honour to be taking on the chairmanship of this group and I am looking forward to working closely with the credit union movement to promote and support responsible lending.

"I am delighted that my constituents now have a choice of credit unions in Worcester and I would recommend to anyone that they check out the good savings rates and reasonable lending that they offer.

"Credit unions are stronger than ever in the UK but there is much further to go to make this industry bigger, stronger and better known.

"I relish the opportunity to work with colleagues of all parties to take this forward.”

Mr Walker has pressed for better regulation of credit unions and backed a number of cross-party initiatives on making them available in post offices, as well as helping them to compete with bigger lenders.

He has also worked on a cross-party campaign to support a charter for better regulation of payday lenders, campaigned for better funding for free debt advice and grilled some of the biggest lenders at the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee.

Mr Walker was awarded the CAB Parliamentarian of the Year Award for 2014 jointly with Paul Blomfield MP for their work on the issue of credit unions.