Churches launch major credit union


A group of major Churches is promoting access to responsiblecredit and savings with the launch of the Churches Mutual Credit UnionLtd. (CMCU).

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, joinedthe Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland,the Rt Rev John Chalmers and the President of the MethodistConference, The Rev Ken Howcroft, at Church House in London, tocelebrate their churches' collaboration in forming the flagshipcredit union.  

The CMCU, which also includes the Scottish Episcopal Church, andthe Church in Wales, will offer a range of savings and loanproducts.  Fairness will be at the heart of the CMCU's values. Initially members will be able to invest in the 'FounderMember's Bond' with ordinary savers accounts and loans becomingavailable in March.  In due course CMCU will offer ISA savingsaccounts.

At least 60,000 individuals, notably ordained ministers,licensed lay ministers, elders, employees and trustees of churches(e.g. Parochial Church Council members) and church charities areeligible to join, along with churches and Anglican and Church ofScotland charities as corporate members.

Individuals can join CMCU from tomorrow (Thursday February 12). 

Mr Howcroft said: "Methodists are glad to support the launch ofCMCU. The gap between rich and poor seems to be widening andleaving people without the resources to do new things, or evenpushing them into crippling debt.

"When we recognise our interdependence we can share ourresources to help each of us meet our needs. That is how we can alllive life more fully. We wish the CMCU well."

Archbishop Justin said: "My congratulations go to all involvedin establishing the Churches Mutual Credit Union as it is launchedtoday.

"Credit unions have the potential to make a transformativecontribution to our financial system and I am delighted that itwill be possible for clergy, church employees and church trusteesto belong to a credit union focused on supporting their particularfinancial needs.

"As the first supporter to sign CMCU's application to theregulator in 2013 I am looking forward to being one of the first tosign up as a member when registration opens tomorrow.

"It is a notable strength of CMCU that it brings togetherchurches from England, Scotland and Wales in this sharedventure.

"I hope and expect that the experience of belonging to CMCU willencourage clergy and church workers to become increasinglyeffective advocates for credit unions in their communities."