MANCHESTER, Eng. (8/8/12)--The credit union sector in Great Britain has passed a milestone in membership: it now serves more than one million members and junior savers, said the Association for British Credit Unions Ltd. (ABCUL).
Credit unions serve 887,000 adult members and 121,000 junior savers, according to figures released this week by the Financial Services Authority (ENP Newswire Aug. 6).
Mark Lyonette, ABCUL chief executive, noted that at the turn of the century Britain's credit union served 325,000 adult members. "To almost triple this and reach 887,000 with 121,000 juniors in such a short time is testament to the hard work and dedication of many credit union staff and volunteers who work every day to realize our collective vision for the sector," Lyonette said.
In the past decade membership more than doubled and assets more than tripled in value. The milestone arrived just after credit unions in January saw long-awaited legislative reforms come into focus that have opened up opportunities for expansion and the Department for Work & Pensions announced an US$59.3 million expansion program for the credit union sector.
Many credit unions plan to use their new powers to serve new groups and offer new products and services, said ABCUL, which also noted that the government is backing the sector to expand and strengthen it further so it can add another million members "in only five to seven years."