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Community and living, Finance and money

Loan sharks beware – Credit Union offers financial support in the heart of Brixton

The London Mutual Credit Union, an organisation run by its members to provide savings schemes and affordable loans, has opened a branch in the centre of Brixton.

Credit unions are local financial co-operatives that are owned and controlled by their members. Any profits that are generated are given back to the members after the costs of running the credit union have been covered.

They provide a range of affordable, fair and accessible financial services, including a current account and convenient and safe ways to save. These savings then provide a pool of funds from which lowcost and flexible loans can be made responsibly.

The branch, at 10 Acre Lane SW2, welcomes membership applications from those who live, work, study or volunteer in Lambeth. Opening hours are Monday to Thursday 09.30 to 4.30 and Friday 11.00 – 4.30pm. Information about LMCU can be found on their website http://www.creditunion.co.uk. The new branch has been made possible through funding from Lambeth First, the borough’s local strategic partnership, and Lambeth Council who have supported the expansion of its services.

“We’re excited to be opening this new branch in the heart of Brixton. Some door step lenders charge excessive interest rates on loans, which can cause residents to be plunged into a vicious cycle of poverty. We’re different because we exist for the benefit of our members, not shareholders, so we lend responsibly, encourage saving, and support our local community.

“This high street location will help us to fight back against irresponsible lending in the area and give Lambeth residents the support they need,” said Roy McLeod, Treasurer, London Mutual Credit Union.

Councillor Sally Prentice, Lambeth Council cabinet member for regeneration, planning and employment, said “Lambeth residents are doing the best they can to manage their money but in these uncertain times they need sound advice, which they don’t always receive. As a financial co-operative, members of the LMCU have a say in how the organisation is run and can be confident that their interests are being looked after.

“This co-operative approach is one which as a council we are seeking to establish and we’re proud to work closely with the credit union to make financial services more accessible to residents.”

Ian Jackson, Director of Lambeth First, added “As a partnership we’re committed to ensuring that residents aren’t excluded from the financial services they need. The London Mutual Credit Union is run by its members – Lambeth’s residents and employees like you and me – and provides savings schemes and affordable loans to help people when they need it. Lambeth First are delighted to have supported the opening of this new high street branch so that more people can make use of its vital services.”

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