Barrow & District Credit Union have announced that they will be open for business in their recently refurbished premises at 1 & 3 The Mall in Barrow Town Centre on Friday 22 February 2013 between 11am and 3pm and thereafter between 11am and 3pm on each week day.
Credit unions are not for profit institutions that provide financial services to the whole community. They are regulated by the Financial Services Authority and savings are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Barrow was one of the largest places in the country that did not have a credit union and it is being set up not only to encourage people to save by offering convenient savings products that will hopefully pay a good dividend but also to provide affordable loans to those people who need them most. A £500 loan paid over 52 weeks will only result in £67.30 interest being charged (26.8% APR).
Anyone who lives or works within the Borough of Barrow-in-Furness can become a member of the Credit Union regardless of their level of income. Anybody who would like to open an account should take an item of personal identification (for example passport, driving licence or photo ID card), an item of address verification (for example council tax bill, utility bill, bank statement or DWP benefits letter) and their national insurance number to the Credit Union.
Barrow & District Credit Union will mainly be run by volunteers and anyone interested in volunteering should call at The Mall premises or phone Barrow & District Credit Union on 07729412327.
Rob Cairns, the Credit Union’s Chairman, stated that "It has been a long process since the Study Group was set up in October 2010, but at least we have now got there and I am delighted that we will be at long last opening our doors to the public. One of our aims is to make local people who are presently financially excluded, 10% of Cumbrian residents do not have a bank account, financially included but we are there for the whole community to use."
He advised that "Some of the most successful credit unions in the country are those who have been able to attract members from people across a wide range of personal financial circumstances in their area. We will only operate within the Borough which means all monies will stay within the Borough, which is certainly not the case now, and hence help boost our local economy."
Mr Ciarns concluded "I would like to thank all the volunteers for all their hard work, all the donators of furniture, equipment and services, all our funders who have supplied us with the necessary finance and all the Credit Union Board Members for their enthusiasm and commitment – they have all contributed to making our Credit Union a reality."