Surrey credit union membership tops 470 in first year
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.