Five denominations form a credit union for the UK

Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian churches in England, Scotland and Wales have joined to form The Churches’ Mutual Credit Union Ltd (CMCU).  The credit union, which was approved by regulators on December 16, will offer an alternative to payday lenders, which have been criticized by Archbishop Justin Welby.

It is an ecumenical venture involving the Church of England (Anglican), the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), The Methodist Church of Great Britain, the Church in Wales (Anglican) and the Scottish Episcopal Church (Anglican), the churches announced.

“‘Our faith in Christ calls us to love the poor and vulnerable with our actions,” said the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who once worked in in the banking and oil sector. He was quoted on the Church of England website.

“That is why the Church must be actively involved in supporting the development of real lending alternatives, such as credit unions. This is not an optional activity, but a fundamental part of our witness and service to all God’s people.

“It is also a chance for us all to redevelop and stimulate local, relational forms of banking focussed on serving the whole community,” he said.

The CMCU website describes the project:

As well as offering the benefits of credit union membership to clergy, ministers, trustees and those employed by our Churches, the project will continue to show the Churches walking the walk as well as talking the talk of ethical investment. It will support and strengthen the credit union movement and contribute to the rebuilding of the mutual sector as a viable, ethical alternative to mainstream banking for people irrespective of their financial status.

CMCU aspires to be a competitive financial provider offering fair returns to savers and fair rates of interest for borrowers. Details of the sorts of savings and loans products CMCU will offer can be found on the FAQ Leaflet downloadable below but please note the rates of interest quoted are likely to change before February to reflect the latest market conditions.

A formal launch event is planned for 11th February 2015 during General Synod. Members will be able to join online once CMCU is open for business.

Posted by Andrew Gerns

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