Surrey credit union membership tops 470 in first year

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A credit union which opened this year in Surrey has seen membership top 470 and given out £160,000 in loans.

The SurreySave Credit Union was set up to offer an alternative to high-cost lenders and loan sharks.

Chief executive Michelle Boundy said people of all means had been struggling in the current financial climate.

She said: "Even those who never had problems obtaining credit in the past now find many doors closed to them and end up turning to high-cost lenders."

SurreySave chairman David Wright, who is also a Guildford borough councillor, said it would take a number of years for the business to become self-sustaining and in the meantime it was relying on its partners for support.

He said the fast-growing and not-for-profit community bank provided a "much-needed affordable alternative" to high-cost lenders and mainstream banking.

The credit union, which is a co-operative owned and controlled by members, offers financial services to anyone living or working in Surrey or the London borough of Kingston.

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