Perth and Kinross Credit Union today opens its doors to its first savers, giving everybody who lives or works in Perth and Kinross the opportunity to benefit from regular saving, responsible loans and a say in the running of their own financial co-operative.
The credit union was proud to welcome John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Employment, Finance and Sustainable Growth, to open the premises at 282 High Street, Perth and become its very first saver.
John Swinney said, “Credit unions provide an accessible and vital alternative to high cost payday lenders. Perth and Kinross Credit Union will enable local people at every income level to save and access loans, repayable at a much more affordable interest rate than those of payday lenders.
“Credit unions are good news for local communities as they play a valuable role in providing financial services and products to a wide range of customers. I am therefore proud to sign up today as one of its first members.
“A key success factor for any credit union is the support of large local employers who may provide savings deducted direct from wages for staff who sign up. I would encourage all employers locally to engage with Perth and Kinross Credit Union and help get it off to a flying start.”
If you are interested in saving with Perth and Kinross Credit Union (PKCU), the High Street branch is open 10am to 2.30pm Mondays to Fridays (excluding bank holidays) or you can find out more on the website, www.pkcu.org.uk, or call 01738 624872. If you work for an employer partner, you can save directly from your salary.
Michelle Maddox, Chair of the Board, said: “Credit unions are ethical lenders and part of our remit is financial education. We encourage savings, even at modest levels, and are then in a position to help savers with responsible loans if they need them at a later date. Everyone benefits from having some money put aside, no matter how much or how little you have. Having savings can allow you to work towards your financial goals and gives you peace of mind should an emergency arise.”
A Perth and Kinross Credit Union savings account offers you a safe, convenient way to save regularly and free life insurance on your savings. You can open an account with as little as £1 and save as much or little as you like. You can set up a standing order, pay in cash at the branch, post a cheque or use payroll deduction if you work for an employer partner. Savings can be withdrawn at the branch and by cheque or bank transfer. Rather than paying interest on your savings, credit unions hope to be able to pay an annual dividend to members, depending on the financial performance of the business.
Perth and Kinross Credit Union has been through a thorough and extensive registration process with the Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority. It is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Ombudsman Service, making it a secure way to save. PKCU is also a member of the Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL), the leading trade organisation for credit unions in the UK.
Councillor Dave Doogan, Convenor of Perth & Kinross Council’s Housing and Health Committee, said, “The Council is delighted to be supporting Perth and Kinross Credit Union. It takes dedication and hard work to set up a financial institution from scratch and get through the rigorous registration process, so my thanks goes to the Board, manager, volunteers and Council staff who have brought Perth and Kinross Credit Union to fruition.”
Perth CAB Manager Sandy Watts, said: “Credit unions are a great way to save and to access affordable credit. PKCU will make sure that their customers understand how their loans work and exactly how much it will cost so that local people don’t get caught out by high interest rates or payments that they can’t afford. We are lookin