New Community Banking Service Launched

Wandsworth Plus Credit Union launched at the Roehampton Work Match jobs fair

Anyone living or working in the borough will have access to a new range of financial services thanks to the partnership between the council and London Plus Credit Union.

This will include ethical saving accounts and affordable loans – helping eliminate the potential for situations in which people turn to loan sharks or payday loan companies.

Credit Unions are not-for-profit run organisations owned by their members, with any profits being shared fairly amongst the members or reinvested to provide better services.

The service has been available to council staff since December, and has already proved a popular method of saving. Director of finance Chris Buss is already a member, as are several councillors. Councillor Govindia joined the credit union at the launch:

He said:
“Wandsworth Plus is designed to give our residents and employees more financial choices whether they are having difficulty managing their finances or simply looking for new ways to save. We also hope to see financial help given to people those who are often excluded from mainstream financial products – and believe that creating a financial community in Wandsworth will make this possible.

He continued:
“And, as well as providing a welcome alternative to payday loans or doorstep lending, one of the best things about credit unions is that members mutually benefit as there’s no profit for third party shareholders.”

credit union logoVincent Thomas, the chair of London Plus Credit Union, said:
“We are excited to be working in partnership with Wandsworth Council to provide credit union services in the borough.

“Wandsworth residents and workers will soon have an alternative to major banks and high cost lenders. At last there will be an affordable alternative to the payday lenders and home credit companies. But Wandsworth Plus Credit Union will offer financial services to all sections of the community, however much you earn, whether you're looking for a competitive loan or an ethical place to save.”

Credit Unions manage personal savings accounts of up to £15,000 and these are protected in exactly the same way as bank and building society deposits.

Residents or people working in the borough will be able to become a credit union member, and be eligible for loans of between £50 and £7,500.

Loans under £7,500 are often cheaper from a credit union than from anywhere else – banks, doorstep lenders or payday lenders – and there are no hidden charges like late or early repayment fees.

Many people working in the borough will be able to have payments to the credit union made directly from their pay packet, making it easy to save regularly or repay a loan.

To find out more information about Wandsworth Plus Credit Union – or to become a member – visit

February 4, 2014