Published: November 17, 2015
Credit union customers of challenger bank Unity Trust Bank have been awarded over £25,000 grant funding to help support the valuable role they play in providing fair financial services and products to a wide range of customers otherwise excluded from mainstream finance.
The Bank’s annual Credit Union Development Fund awarded 11 credit unions across England, Scotland and Wales grants ranging from £900 to £3,000.
Unity Trust Bank received a record number of applications in 2015 with 51 credit unions applying for support. Last year 35 credit unions applied for a share of £14,000 from the Bank, which supports organisations and businesses that are creating community, economic, social or environmental benefit.
Darrin Nightingale, Director, Customer, Propositions & Corporate Affairs at Unity Trust Bank, said: “Providing grant funding to the credit union sector is just one of the ways we ensure we put our social values into practice. Unity has worked with the sector over many years and we believe credit unions play a vital role in promoting financial inclusion. By providing financial services and products that support individuals and businesses who may otherwise struggle to access mainstream financial services or may fall prey to other high cost financial providers, they support vital community development across the country.”
The Bank’s grant investments enable credit unions to fund projects and activities that will benefit the credit union and its members, and this year range from improved access to premises for people with disabilities to savings schemes for school pupils.
The grants were distributed across the UK with £15,280 in England, £3,000 in Wales and £7,500 in Scotland. Collectively, almost 48,000 credit union members will benefit from the grants.
Interested credit unions submit how they would use the funds and applications are carefully considered by an expert judging panel which this year involved Stephen Robertson, CEO at The Big Issue Foundation, Steve Johnson, Chief Executive at Advice UK and Dr Ray Donnelly.
Unity Trust Bank has long supported the credit union movement in the UK and banks around 33% of the sector. Alongside the Credit Union Development Fund Account, it provides credit unions and other organisations delivering social impact with current account and sustainable loan finance facilities. For more information visit www.unity.co.uk or email: email@example.com.
Full list of credit unions awarded grants in 2015: