As an alternative to high cost credit lenders, a Credit Union is being launched to help struggling families in South Gloucestershire.
Bristol Credit Union will provide banking services at the Juice Community Project offices in Newton Road, Cadbury Heath.
BCU’s services will be opened on Tuesday afternoon by Cllr Ian Boulton – chairman of South Gloucestershire Council.
He said: “South Gloucestershire’s first Credit Union branch in Cadbury Heath will provide a valuable service to the district. The new branch will ensure residents have access to fair and affordable banking services, offer an alternative to lenders that often charge extortionate interest rates, and hopefully help prevent vulnerable people from becoming trapped by debt.”
Credit Unions can offer cheaper banking because they are non-profit making organisations run for the benefit of their customers who are also members. For example, BCU is owned by its membership of over 6,500 people.
Subject to individual circumstances, BCU offers loans that start at interest rates of less than 10% APR and are capped – by law – at 27%. In comparison some payday loan companies offer loans have interest rates of over 1,500%.
Janice Suffolk, director at Juice, said: “To become a member of Bristol Credit Union you need £3.50. That’s £2.50 to become a member and £1 to open an account. Thanks to the support of South Gloucestershire Council, the first 25 people to open an account will become members for free.”
Last month Juice opened a foodbank. The Credit Union and foodbank are part of a one-stop-shop of services provided by the project to support people and families struggling in the current economic climate.
Further details about BCU can be found at www.bristolcreditunion.org or by calling Juice at 01454 302 302.