EdenSave is 2 years old
12 October 2015
On the 1st October 2015 EdenSave Credit Union marked the 2nd Anniversary of its launch.
Reflecting on the Credit Unions achievements and Challenges Adrian Rush, Chair of the Credit Union commented:
“Our first two years of operation have confirmed the need for the services of a Credit Union in Eden. Nearly 500 residents across the district have now signed up for membership. Many are saving regularly, building up nest eggs to help when the going gets tough or for planned, or unplanned, expenditure. Many more have approached the Credit Union for a loan.
Credit Union loans have made a real difference to people’s lives. By helping members consolidate and manage existing borrowing, start or maintain small businesses or purchase goods or services at affordable rates, the Credit Union is allowing people to avoid more expensive forms of borrowing.
There continues to be many firms offering short term credit to Eden residents at very high rates of interest. Whilst the recent Government review of the Pay Day Loan industry has seen lenders review their products and processes, the rates of interest attached to their loans remains eye wateringly high. Although most are no longer charging rates in excess of 4,000% APR the revised products still attract rates in excess of 1,000% APR. Online websites coupled with advertising on TV, in the press and through sports sponsorship make their products seem attractive and easy to access.
A recent addition to the market are stores offering white goods exclusively on credit at typical rates in excess of 80% APR.
As a small Credit Union, EdenSave cannot match the advertising spend of these competitors and has to rely on cheaper, more low key ways, of letting Eden residents know there is a better alternative. We will not let up however until the majority of Eden residents are aware of and/or consider using our services.
Credit Union members are finding that whatever their circumstances they are given a fair hearing by our volunteers who treat all applicants the same. Over £100,000 has been lent to members during our first two years.
The closure of the Barclays Alston branch in December, the reduced opening hours of the Barclays Appleby branch and the recent spate of other local bank closures adds weight to the need for locally provided banking services tailored to the needs of local residents, not large multi-national corporations headquartered many miles away from Eden.
EdenSave is very grateful for the support it continues to receive from local authorities and Housing Associations. Housing Association tenants receive a £5 boost to their savings when they open an account.
The Credit Union could not exist without its volunteer workforce who devote a huge amount of time across a range of roles. We are always looking for more volunteers, anyone interested in helping us will be very welcome.
Over the next twelve months the Credit Union plans to recruit more members, grant more loans, add to its current services, take the message to smaller Eden Communities and add interview space to its existing Penrith Office.
A big thank you to all who have given us support over the past two years”