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Give Credit Unions the ability to offer wider Financial Services – Mitchel Mc Laughlin MLA

1 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Economic Spokesperson, Mitchel Mc Laughlin MLA has called for Credit Unions to be given the latitude to offer a wider range of Financial Services.

Mitchel Mc Laughlin said:

"I believe that it would relieve a lot of the financial pressure on those on fixed incomes who do not wish to incur the added expense of many bank charges if Credit Unions were to be given the latitude to offer a wider range of financial services.

"With the growth of the Credit Union Movement throughout Ireland over the past 30 to 40 years those people living in economically deprived communities were for the first time given an opportunity to sample some of the comforts of life. Unlike the impersonal nature of many banking institutions the Credit Union is community based and welcoming of all irrespective of financial situation. For this reason communities embraced the Credit Unions as the 'People's Bank'. Credit Unions are now part of the social fabric of most communities.

"More and more government payments are being transacted through electronic banking and there are fears that despite assurances to the contrary that bank charges will eat into already meagre fixed incomes.

"Therefore in an age where it is very difficult to make day to day financial transactions without a bank account I believe that Credit Unions should be given the opportunity to offer a wider range of financial services to meet the changing needs of their customers. One such change that I believe would greatly convenience pension and other fixed benefit recipients would be to have the choice of having their payments deposited directly into their Credit Union Accounts.

"This would relieve the anxiety that many have about banks. It would also ensure that any profits accrued from such transactions would benefit the local community rather than the Banks who are already making substantial profits"


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