Page last updated at 19:08 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 20:08 UK

Credit union 'at first milestone'

A hundred people have pledged their support for a credit union being set up by councils in Surrey to help residents during the recession.

The Surrey Save Credit Union facility will be available to people in Mole Valley, Guildford, Woking and Waverley.

Spokesman Mike Paddock said the group hoped for continued support as it celebrated reaching the milestone.

Credit unions are small-scale savings and loan co-operatives that typically serve people on low incomes.

I want to see an ethical bank in Surrey that allows everyone to participate and responsibly lends to people who are in need
Graham Hill

Mr Paddock said the group's target was to achieve 500 pledges of support, and it was hoped the credit union would be up and running within the next 12 months.

He added: "We are calling on everyone to register their support.

"You are not committing yourself to anything at this stage but we need to demonstrate to the Financial Services Authority that there is sufficient local support."

Graham Hill, the 100th member of the public to back the credit union, said he would be joining the credit union to make funds available for other people and hopefully to get a better financial return than he would receive from high street banks.

"I want to see an ethical bank in Surrey that allows everyone to participate and responsibly lends to people who are in need," he added.

The credit union is also being supported by Woking Borough Council, Mole Valley Borough, Mole Valley Housing Association, the Co-operative Fund and voluntary organisations.



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