Credit unions “well-trusted”

An increasing number of Britons are turning to credit unions to help them save funds for Christmas expenses because they “offer local people a well-trusted financial solution”.

This is the opinion of Mark Lyonette, chief executive of The Association of British Credit Unions (Abcul), who observed that such options are helpful as borrowers can avoid running up credit card bills or taking out personal loans to pay for the festive season.

Abcul has, over the two years to 2008, witnessed a 15 per cent rise in savings by their members, perhaps as a result of the collapse of Farepak, which saw over 150,000 people lose their money.

Rod Ashley, chief executive of Scotwest Credit Union – which was launched following the Farepak case – remarked that “huge amounts of debts” are run up during Christmas as “thousands of people succumb to the pressures of consumer spending”.

Holiday periods have proven to be an expensive time for families yet again, with research from Egg recently revealing that 77 per cent of those with children admit to spending more than they can afford on activities during times such as Halloween.

By Sarah Adie

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