Scotland's Credit Unions: Investing in Our Future

Report of the Credit Union Working Group. Review of their work and recommendations to make Scotland an enabling environment for credit unions.

Ministerial Foreword

Fergus Ewing

Fergus Ewing MSP
Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism

Scotland's credit union movement has been providing essential financial services to our communities for over 45 years. The Scottish Government is committed to seeing the sector continue to grow and thrive, in recognition of their invaluable role as ethical lenders and financial services providers, including for those facing financial exclusion.

To that end, I established the Credit Union Working Group in October 2014 with an inclusive membership, including credit union representatives, money advice organisations, Government and agencies, and John Wilson MSP, Convener of the Scottish Parliament's Cross-Party Group on Credit Unions.

We looked at ways we could promote the sector and grow its capacity to serve a wide and diverse membership and promote long term saving.

After considering a wide range of topics, Working Group members identified key areas in which the credit union movement could benefit from development: the expansion of payroll deduction schemes as a standard workplace benefit, and a focus on financial education, with the involvement of credit unions as a delivery partner.

In this report we have detailed a number of recommendations for credit unions, Scottish Government, local authorities, schools and employers to take forward, in order to help strengthen our credit union movement, and by extension, the financial capability of our communities.

Credit unions have an important role to play in tackling financial exclusion, and the Scottish Government is committed to improving financial well-being and reducing income inequality, to create a wealthier and fairer Scotland for all its citizens.

February 2016


Email: Nadia Bessos

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