LONDON (11/10/15)--One year after U.S. credit unions reached the 100 million membership mark, British credit unions celebrated their own membership milestone.
The Bank of England reported last week that credit union memberships in England, Scotland and Wales climbed to 1.1 million in the second quarter, a 3.2% jump in quarterly growth.
The Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL) has pledged to bring total credit union memberships in Britain up to 2 million by 2020 as part of its commitment to the World Council of Credit Unions’ “2020 Vision for Credit Unions” campaign.
The overarching initiative aims to attract 50 million new consumers to the worldwide credit union movement over the next five years.
“The continuing growth of Britain’s credit unions is hugely encouraging and is a tribute to the effort so many credit unions are making to ensure their services are more accessible to a broad range of consumers,” said Mark Lyonette, ABCUL chief executive.
In addition to membership gains, savings at credit unions in Britain increased 3.5% during the quarter, while lending rose 2.9% and assets jumped 3.4%.
“It is particularly encouraging to see lending up by more than 20 million pounds over the quarter as the movement starts to look at diversifying its lending to better meet consumer demand,” Lyonette said.
Furthermore, nearly 131,000 junior savers became credit union members during the quarter, meaning that actually 1.24 million people are now members of credit unions in Great Britain.
ABCUL attributes the rise in junior savers to partnerships between credit unions and schools.