Credit union lending has grown significantly, the latest Bank of England statistics show.
The unaudited figures – based on quarterly returns from 334 credit unions across the UK – show that at the end of June 2016, total credit union membership (including junior savers) had reached almost two million.
UK credit unions serve 58,034 more people than they did in June 2015, which represents annual membership growth of 3%.
The largest growth was in credit union lending, which is up 8.5% since June 2015 to more than £781m, resulting in an additional £61m provided to consumers in England, Scotland and Wales compared with the same time a year ago.
Credit union savings and assets also rose on the British Isles, with an extra £87.9m deposited with credit unions in the year to June, representing a 7.8% increase in members’ shares to around £1.22bn.
The Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL) chief executive Mark Lyonette said: “These latest growth figures are extremely encouraging. Not only are credit unions growing on every measure, but for lending to see the highest rate of growth bucks recent trends and bodes well for the movement’s future.
“ABCUL has recognised the lending challenge faced by credit unions and we’ve encouraged our members to look at innovative ways of encouraging new and existing members to think of their credit union first whenever they need to borrow money.
“These figures show that credit unions are now doing even more to make a vital contribution to the financial health of people in communities and workplaces right across the country.”
The credit union statistics are aggregated by the Bank of England from the annual and quarterly returns submitted by authorised credit unions in the UK.
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