Joe has welcomed the decision to implement the Council’s 'Non-Standard Lending Groups' recommendation to invest £50,000 in 1stAlliance Credit Union. The investment will increase 1st Alliance’s capital to asset ratio from 3% to 5.33% which will enable them to increase their membership by 849 adults and 110 juniors.
Following the Groups report the Council have also agreed to facilitate visits to local secondary schools for 1st Alliance.
Councillor Cullinane was a member of the Non Standard Lending Working Group after his motion on payday loans and 1st Alliance Credit Union led to its establishment.
Speaking about the £50,000 grant investment Councillor Cullinane said,
“I am delighted that the Council have invested this money in 1st Alliance. My original motion, which led to the working group being established, aimed to provide greater support for 1st Alliance and this investment certainly does that by allowing them to grow their membership as their capital to asset ratio was holding them back from doing so.”
“Credit Unions provide a valuable alternative to high street banking and 1stAlliance offer a great range of services and in many cases go beyond the call of duty to support clients.”
“Their work with the College saw the students nominated for prestigious national awards and I have long argued that the Council should be working with 1st Alliance in a similar way to promote financial literacy within our schools to start teaching the value of money and saving to our young. I believe this is the best approach we can take in tackling the problem of debt and high cost credit such as payday loans which affects so many young people. It is great that, following the report, the Council have agreed to facilitate visits to local secondary schools for 1st Alliance.”
Ann Robertson MBE, a director at 1st Alliance Credit Union, added,
"I am delighted the the Council have embraced the Non Standard Lending Report recomendations for the Credit Union. The capital injection allows us to accelerate our growth and proviode much needed affordable products to our communities."
On the reports other recommendations Councillor Cullinane added,
“There is still a whole host of other recommendations that the report made, such as a wage advance scheme for Council employees and social enterprise alternatives to high cost credit such as payday loans and High Street shops like Brighthouse, which have still to be implemented that would also have a positive impact in dealing with debt and poverty. I will press for these recommendations to be implemented as well.”