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Somerset Savings and Loans, the credit union for the county, has seen a massive increase in business since the Archbishop of Canterbury declared that people should turn to credit unions for short term borrowing.

But, although the comments have been welcomed, the organisation says the credit union system can only work if savers as well as borrowers use the service.

Paul Urch, Treasurer of Somerset Savings and Loans said:

“We have seen demand soar since the Archbishop of Canterbury made his statement. His offer that the church would throw open the doors of church halls and buildings so that credit unions fully engage with communities is very helpful.”

“In Somerset we have identified a further £100,000 of potential loans since the Archbishop of Canterbury made his statement but the credit union movement cannot be seen as a the single answer to the problems of doorstep lenders and payday loans.”

“We must not lose sight of the true identity of credit unions as a financial co-operative operating for its members and providing an ethical savings opportunity for members funded by interest secured by sound and affordable lending to members.

“We need the support of the community, including local businesses and those who support the Archbishop of Canterbury in his statements. Savers are needed to help us expand our resource and to provide the financial strength for us to provide loans.”

There has been unprecedented interest in Somerset-based Somerset Savings and Loans in the last few weeks, coinciding with the statements by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Credit Union is a co-operative organisation where all money is invested locally, keeping money circulating within the local economy. At people can join online and learn more about the loans, savings accounts and other credit union services. Or they can contact someone about their savings or borrowing needs on 01275 390649.

As a Credit Union Somerset Savings and Loans is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It is also a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and Ombudsman schemes.

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