Page last updated at 05:48 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 06:48 UK

Credit unions land 750k funding

A purse
It is hoped the funding will help challenge illegal money-lending

Credit unions will benefit from £750,000 of European funding in an effort to give more people access to affordable credit.

The money will be divided between 18 credit unions across Wales.

Social Justice Minister Dr Brian Gibbons will launch the "Taking Everyone Into Account" strategy at a credit union in Rhyl, Denbighshire.

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

The Welsh Assembly Government project was awarded the European funding for the current financial year.

Dr Gibbons said the Clwyd Coast credit union in Rhyl will receive an extra £22,718 to provide core services and employ a manager.

Illegal money-lending

Another 17 centres across Wales will also benefit from varying amounts.

It is hoped access to mainstream financial services will be improved, as well as helping people improve their financial skills and challenging illegal money-lending.

Dr Gibbons said: "In the current economic climate, financial exclusion remains a difficult problem for people across Wales.

"This strategy sets out how we intend to help households through these challenging financial times - widening access to affordable credit and assisting those people facing housing difficulties.

"We want people to be able to plan for their futures with a reasonable degree of security and to have the right information and the skills to avoid getting into financial difficulties, as well as knowing where to find help should they need to."

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