UK

Camilla joins Peckham credit union

The Duchess of Cornwall
Image caption Camilla said she wanted to raise awareness about credit unions

The Duchess of Cornwall has applied to join a credit union in Peckham, south-east London, which offers financial services including payday loans.

She made her application during a visit to the London Mutual Credit Union (LMCU), a non-profit organisation which lends out members' savings.

Among its other services, the LMCU teaches customers how to take control of their money and save £20-£40 a week.

"Everybody needs that bit of help to show them how its done," Camilla said.

"That personal touch just makes a difference."

'Get behind me'

The LMCU, which provides services to anyone who lives or works in the boroughs of Southwark, Lambeth, Westminster and Camden, encourages its members to only borrow money they can afford to repay.

Last year, it became the first British credit union to offer payday loans - usually used by people in difficult financial situations.

The LMCU, which has more than 16,000 members, offers the loans at interest rates of 28.6% APR, compared with some other lenders who can charge up to 4,000%.

Camilla, who was eligible to join as a Westminster resident, said: "It's very important to get the word out and tell people about it.

"It is just raising awareness. Probably like many other people I didn't know much about it."

During her visit, the duchess also spoke to a number of LMCU members.

Wendy Powell, 67, who was at the branch with her daughter Clare, 32, who is already a member, said: "I told Camilla I was just here with my daughter but that I was thinking of joining and she said she would as well.

"I said she should get behind me in the queue."

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