A member of the Joining Forces partnership, the credit union already provides financial services for military personnel and their families. The Joining Forces Initiative was established in 2015 by the Ministry of Defence to address concerns about rising levels of debt among armed forces personnel. First Defence Finance will offer credit union services such as flexible savings and ethical loans.
Plane Saver Credit Union is one of the UK’s three credit unions that offer affordable loans to the armed forces and its veterans. Since 2015, it has helped 3,000 serving personnel save over £1m and borrow £9m.
Along with the new brand, the credit union is launching a new website – www.firstdefencefinance.co.uk. Last year Plane Saver introduced a Payday Payoff loan to help service personnel pay off high-interest rate payday loans.
Chief executive Valerie Walwyn, who is also a veteran, said: “As armed forces personnel are a growing area of our membership, we thought it only right to represent this group through the launch of our own military brand.”
The credit union hopes the brand will help even more members of the armed forces increase their financial resilience while making the cost of borrowing more affordable and accessible.
Ms Walwyn added: “The First Defence Finance brand symbolises our ongoing commitment to serve members of the armed forces. It is our mission to help those who are financially excluded by simplifying savings and offering ethical loans. The credit union won the MoneyAge Ethical Lender of the Year award in 2018. The launch of this new brand allows us to expand our range of products designed specifically for military personnel.”
As part of its commitment to the military personnel and army veterans, in December the credit union donated £5,000 to the Royal British Legion, to support of the charity’s work.