Leeds ,
15
September
2017
|
13:41
Europe/London

Flagship ‘Your Loan Shop’ brings affordable lending to the heart of Leeds

Issued in partnership with Leeds Credit Union

People in Leeds can now access ethical financial services right in the heart of the city centre, with the opening of Leeds Credit Union’s flagship ‘Your Loan Shop’ in the Merrion Centre next week.

As well as opening its first ‘Your Loan Shop’ Leeds Credit Union is celebrating saving the local community approximately £47 million* in high interest charges (compared to borrowing from high cost lenders) over the last ten years.

Media opportunity:

When: Tuesday 19 September at 11.15.

Where: Unit 3 Loan Shop, Leeds Credit Union, Wade Lane Entrance, Merrion Centre, Leeds.

What: Members of the media are invited to attend the official opening of the first ‘Your Loan Shop’. Leeds Credit Union President Isobel Mills and Leeds City Council leader Cllr Judith Blake will speak and perform a ribbon cutting. Interviews, photography and filming opportunities will be available.

Your Loan Shop is part of Leeds City Credit Union and provides a wide range of affordable borrowing and savings opportunities. The shop will also provide many of the other services of the credit union including; credit union memberships, helping people to save and guiding people to financial information services including Leeds City Council’s Money Information Centre service.

The opening also marks the 30th Anniversary of Leeds Credit Union and it is estimated that over the last 10 ten years alone the credit union has issued £92 million of loans and saved families and the community £47 million in interest payments.

The credit union is committed to providing affordable credit to its members and the people of Leeds and this shop, in a busy shopping centre gives the opportunity to provide more affordable loans to people and reduce the number of people resorting to high cost lenders.

Around £100 million flows out of the Leeds community each year in interest payments to high cost lenders, door step lenders, log book loan companies, pawn brokers and pay day lenders. Leeds Credit Union is committed to reversing this trend to provide more affordable loans where the interest payments are much lower. By using a credit union loan members pay less in interest repayments and this has an economic benefit for the whole community. For some, high cost lending can also lead to unmanageable debt and in turn this can cause stress and illness in families.

There are currently six traditional Leeds Credit Union branches around Leeds, however this is the flagship branch of the Your Loan Shop brand and the very first to open in a shopping centre.

Isobel Mills, President of Leeds Credit Union, commented:

“We have been looking at growing our presence in the high street and with an average monthly footfall of 950,000 and a good match demographically for our target member base the Merrion Centre was a great fit to meet our objectives to grow awareness and accessibility within Leeds.

“Since the FCA clamped down on high cost lenders and pay day lenders 6 out of 10 high cost lending firms have closed shops on the high street***. Therefore, it is good news that an affordable loans shop run by the credit union is bucking this trend.”

Leeds City Council has worked in partnership with Leeds Credit Union for several years, to tackle poverty in the city and raise awareness of low-cost lending options and provide services, education and advice to improve the financial well-being of families in Leeds especially those who are most exposed to the likes of high cost lending and debt.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said:

“Helping people out of poverty is vital and a key priority for us, which is why we have worked in partnership with the credit union, advice partners and social landlords and many other partners in the city for many years to do what we can to assist hard-pressed families who don't have access to mainstream affordable financial services. By bringing credit union provision to a busy retail environment will help even more people access low-cost, easy-access loans but without the extortionate interest rates.”

This exciting news comes as Leeds Credit Union enters its 30th year of providing ethical financial services in the local community. The credit union is also announcing some exciting statistics about their lending over the last ten years:

Isobel Mills continued: “We are extremely proud of what we have achieved in the local community over the last few years. We remain dedicated to providing affordable financial services to the local community and beyond and I am sure there will be exciting times ahead for Leeds Credit Union as we enter our 30th anniversary year.”

‘Your Loan Shop’ is also supported by an interactive website for those who are unable to visit personally: www.yourloanshop.co.uk

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Your Loan Shop

Your Loan Shop is part of Leeds Credit Union and has branches within the Merrion Centre, on Roundhay Road and within The Compton Centre.

Leeds Credit Union

Leeds Credit Union is a financial cooperative set up to give member’s access to affordable loans at a fair rate of interest and competitive savings plans. Credit Union members enjoy our straightforward, honest approach to their money.

Leeds Credit Union is a community focused organisation with 36,000 members and is one of the largest in the UK

Leeds Credit Union is a ‘Mutual’, meaning that it is owned members for member benefit alone.

Leeds Credit Union is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so the first £85,000 of a member’s savings are completely safe.

Notes end

Press release contact:

James Hook, Leeds Credit Union 07590 949 991

jhook@leedscitycreditunion.co.uk

General Contact

services@leedscitycreditunion.co.uk ,

www.leedscreditunion.co.uk,

^Cost saving referred to above calculated by comparing the cost of a credit union loan repaid weekly over 52 weeks to a similar loan from Provident financial quoting 299.3% APR on 10.1.17 on 75% of our total lending. Note some high cost lenders charge considerably more.

*The saving that credit union borrowers make when compared to the higher interest rate of a principle doorstep lender (some high-cost lenders’ interest rates are considerably higher) and assumes this saving has been achieved on 75% of the Credit Union’s lending.

** Research by Salford University for Leeds City Council 2009

***Social Market Foundation report for the CFA November 2016