More than Just Credit? the experience of credit unions building financial resilience in communities

Read Just Finance Foundations’ new report

In the UK today, many people lack the basic tools and resources to budget effectively, or cultivate savings habits, and a significant number of people have no access to mainstream banking services. High cost credit providers are quick to step into this gap, offering easy, but ultimately costly finance.

It is clear that what is on offer from our financial system is not working for many ordinary people.

The Just Finance Foundation has a vision to contribute to the creation of a fair and just financial system that is accessible and open to all. Credit unions, which offer fair, affordable finance, available to everyone in the local community, have an important role to play in that vision.

Here you can download and read our new report: ‘More than Just Credit? the experience of credit unions building financial resilience in communities’

In undertaking this report, JFF wanted to share some of the inspiring stories of a number of credit unions, their members and the communities they serve, within our JFF Locals Network. These stories highlight the impact that credit unions can have, both as sources of fair and affordable credit to meet immediate need, as well as place-based institutions that support individuals and communities to build their longer-term financial resilience.

You can also see some of the stories in the report in these two videos showing the work of Northumberland Money and Northumberland Community Bank.

It is our hope that this piece of work will serve as a tool to raise awareness about the brilliant work that credit unions are doing in communities, as credible, ethical alternatives to mainstream finance, and the impact this is having on individual and community-wide financial resilience , as powerfully demonstrated by some of the testimonies in this report and the videos.

We hope that in reading this report, you will be encouraged to join your local credit union, and consider not just saving with them, but taking out your next loan from them. Encouraged, at an organisational or local authority level, to partner with local credit unions as key allies in a place-based approach to financial resilience. Above all, encouraged to believe that a fairer financial system is possible, one in which everyone can flourish.

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