Scotland’s financial sector takes note of Kirk’s credit union

John_Chalmers
Rt Rev John Chalmers

Key figures from the financial industry in Scotland have today welcomed the arrival of a new Church-led player on the affordable credit landscape.

At a breakfast meeting in Edinburgh ahead of tomorrow’s opening of the Kirk’s General Assembly, individuals within the financial sector, including Chairman of the Scottish Financial Enterprise Sir Ewan Brown, learned about the new Churches Mutual Credit Union (CMCU).

The new union - formed in February by the Church of Scotland along with the Church of England, Church in Wales and Scottish Episcopal Church – aims to send a clear signal to the financial industry that a fairer approach to finance is possible.

Sir Ewan Brown said: “The CMCU is a welcome addition to the financial services landscape across the UK and the churches are to be commended for their initiative in taking this forward.

“Accessing affordable finance, which is appropriate to the customer and meets their needs, is a fundamental part of building an effective financial services industry.

“Credit Unions are becoming an increasingly established part of our industry and contribute much to its diversity. By working together to provide access to responsible credit and savings accounts, the churches are not only providing a valuable service for members of the church community, they are also promoting a commendable blueprint for others to follow.”

Moderator of the General Assembly, Rt Rev John Chalmers, who met with guests this morning, said: “This morning we were privileged to welcome key players in the Scottish financial industry to the CMCU launch event, and I trust that this signifies the industry is taking note of a new approach to affordable finance for many, in which the Church can play a key role.”

At least 60,000 people across the UK, notably ordained ministers, elders, employees and trustees of churches and church charities are eligible to join, along with churches and Church of Scotland and Anglican charities.

The Church of Scotland established a high-powered Commission on the Purposes of Economic Activity in 2010 to look into what had gone wrong with our economic system and to suggest how it might be improved.

It set as its principal task to establish how the Church could “best offer Scottish society a new vision of what might be achievable in the economic, social and community life of the nation”.

The credit union movement was identified as being able to help deliver an ethical approach to finance.

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