The Scottish Parliament has officially approved a new cross-party group on credit unions.

Following the successful launch of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions at Westminster last summer, this new group will ensure credit unions remain high on the agenda at Holyrood as well.

Members from Scottish Labour, the SNP, Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Liberal Democrats have registered to join the group which seeks to discuss issues, develop policy and promote the positive role of credit unions in Scotland.

Labour/Co-op MSP Frank McAveety worked with the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL) to initiate the group and will be the convener while John Wilson (SNP), Mary Scanlon (Conservative) and Robert Brown (Liberal Democrat) will be vice-conveners. The treasurer is another Labour/Co-op MSP, James Kelly.

Said Mr McAveety: “Credit unions are making a difference every day in communities across Scotland. They demonstrate the value of sound money linked to ethical lending.

“It is vitally important that they have a strong voice in the Scottish Parliament and, on the tenth anniversary of the Scottish Parliament, it is right and fitting that their voices can be heard through the cross-party group involving MSPs and credit unions.”

Over a quarter of a million Scots are members of credit unions, saving over £200m and borrowing £150m at affordable rates and, in the wake of the banking crisis, even more people are joining up, with some Scottish credit unions reporting a tripling of membership applications compared to the same period last year.

Five Scottish credit unions provide current accounts and, at present, four offer mortgages.

ABCUL’s Policy Officer for Scotland, Frank McKillop, who will be the group’s Secretary, said: “This new cross-party group means there will be a meeting specifically about credit unions at the Scottish Parliament every few months and MSPs from all parties will have an opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the credit union movement in Scotland on a regular basis.

“We’re proud that credit unions enjoy genuine cross-party support in Scotland and we look forward to building upon that in the coming months and years.”

*For further information on ABCUL’s aims and services, please visit

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