United Welsh supports Credit Union Expansion
Smart Money Cymru Credit Union has refurbished and opened its first high street branch in Caerphilly. With support from United Welsh the building will offer a completely new experience for customers.
The credit union with nearly 4000 members has seen a huge growth in membership since the economic crisis began. The timing could not be better to raise the profile of Smart Money Cymru and the Credit Union movement in Wales.
The new building was officially opened by Jeff Cuthbert, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty.
Jeff Cuthbert said
“It is good to have the opportunity to celebrate the opening of this new Smart Money Cymru Credit Union head office and to meet those who help make a difference to the community.”
This credit union is going from strength to strength, providing access to affordable financial services. This is more important than ever given the current economic climate.
“It is essential that communities are well informed and aware of the facts to enable them to make informed decisions about their lives is critical. Credit Unions working together across Wales are central to this and are key to our efforts to tackle poverty.”
This bold move is aimed at helping those who do not have access to main stream financial products, tackling the increase in pay day loans, and reaching out to those people who want to save more ethically.
Support for the move has been over-whelming. Both United Welsh and Caerphilly CBC have made significant contributions to support the delivery of the project.
Keith Fletcher, Chair of Smart Money Cymru said:
“The new branch will offer improved services and a very professional look and feel. We are asking people to trust us with their money so everything about Smart Money must be delivered to a high standard. This is the most ambitious Credit Union development in Wales to date and we look forward to seeing a great expansion of the Credit Union movement in Wales over the next few years”.
With changes to the Welfare Benefits System many people need access to safe and secure financial products. Promoting a saving culture and steering people away from unscrupulous lenders is important work for the credit union to do.
Smart Money Cymru has seen an increase in membership from people using the payroll deduction scheme (invisible savers). This method of saving takes money at source and is a very popular way to save for holidays and Christmas.
Another growing market has been those people who want to support their community by saving a small amount each month. This money is then used to provide low costs loans to those who don’t have access to the financial services many of us take for granted.
The relocation to Caerphilly high street will not only support business growth but has also made a significant dent in the regeneration of the area. The new branch is now a showcase premises at the top of the town.