LONDON (2/11/15)--Credit unions in the United Kingdom posted a solid decade of growth, according to recent numbers from the Bank of England.
Figures from the September 2014 quarterly returns of 362 credit unions in England, Scotland and Wales show that, since 2004, credit union memberships and lending more than doubled, while savings and assets nearly tripled.
"With an increasing focus on credit unions as a place where people from all walks of life will find the savings, loans and other financial products they're looking for, we are confident that credit unions will continue to grow to serve even more people over the next decade," said Mark Lyonette, chief executive of the Association of British Credit Unions Limited.
Total memberships climbed 109% over the 10-year stretch to roughly 1.2 million from 562,000, while credit union lending jumped 119% to 688 million pounds ($1.05 billion) from 314 million pounds ($479 million) in September 2004.
Savings surged 175% between 2004 and 2014, to 1.05 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) from 381 million pounds ($581 million), and credit union assets increased by 187% to 1.24 billion pounds ($1.89 billion) from 432 million pounds ($659 million).
"This has been a decade of significant growth for Britain's credit unions, and it is particularly encouraging to see that growth continue to gather pace," Lyonette said.
In the 2013-2014 year alone, more than 100,000 people--including junior depositors--joined credit unions in Britain, amounting to a total annual membership increase of 9.6%.