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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 February, 2004, 17:37 GMT
'Cardis' to get first credit union
Members can save as little or as much as they want
More than 1,000 people have pledged their support for Ceredigion's first credit union.

The union aims give people the chance to take out low-interest loans, and will encourage people in the county to follow in the footsteps of similar organisations throughout the UK.

Credit unions are owned and controlled by their members, who save into a common fund, which pays interest and can offer low interest loans to other credit union members.

But until now their simple ethos of save and borrow had yet to filter through to Ceredigion.

People living in Ceredigion are not used to seeing innovations such as credit unions and we will have to overcome their natural caution
John Southern, Ceredigion Credit Union

John Southern, the treasurer of Ceredigion Credit Union, which after four years' work aims to be launch by Easter, said: "People living in Ceredigion are not used to seeing innovations such as credit unions and we will have to overcome their natural caution."

Access points

"But with more than 1,000 people pledging their support we believe we have a firm basis for success."

The union will initially be based at Cardigan but Mr Southern accepts that one credit union covering the whole county will provide problems.

"In order to help people we will have to provide access points in towns and villages for people to start saving with us," he said.

"Increasingly people are investing ethically even though they could get better returns elsewhere.

"The people who are joining us want to see money being circulated locally rather than going outside the area."

But it needs more volunteers to join the 15 who are already committed.

Gwyndaf Hughes, of the National Association of Citizens' Advice Bureaux in Wales, said: "The setting up of a credit union in Ceredigion gives people a choice for being financially included," he said.

"Credit unions cover about half of Powys at present so it is important that there is a roll-out to Ceredigion to give people a choice of saving and borrowing rather than taking out personal loans or using catalogues."

Credit union opens
06 Jul 03  |  Cornwall
Consumers warned to avoid debt
28 Dec 02  |  Wales
Credit union regulation to begin
28 Jun 02  |  Moneybox

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