Over the past 10 years, credit unions has more than doubled their lending and membership – while savings and assets have almost trebled.
Bank of England figures from the final quarterly returns of 2014 across 362 credit unions in England, Scotland and Wales show that total membership (including juvenile depositors) rose from 562,577 in September 2004 to 1,173,299 in the latest figures – a 109% increase.
And, where credit unions were lending just over £314m in September 2004, this has risen by 119% to almost £688m in September 2014.
Meanwhile, the amount saved in credit unions has leapt by 175%, from just over £381m in 2004 to almost £1.05bn a decade later.
Similarly, assets have grown by 187% from £432m in 2004 to almost £1.24bn in September.
Mark Lyonette, chief executive of the Association of British Credit Unions, said: “This has been a decade of significant growth for Britain’s credit unions, and it is encouraging to see that growth continue to gather pace.
“With an increasing focus on credit unions as a place where people from all walks of life will find the savings, loans and other financial products they’re looking for, we are confident credit unions will continue to grow to serve even more people over the next decade.”
The data shows that, including junior depositors, more than 100,000 more people joined credit unions in Britain in the 2013/14 financial year, a total annual membership increase of 9.6%.
The year saw London Capital Credit Union enjoy a thirty-fold increase in members, from 321 to 10,062, with members’ savings leaping 1,400% from £436,000 to more than £6m.
Chief executive Martin Groombridge said: “Since the first credit union was set up in Britain over 50 years ago, the sector has continued to thrive and it is good to see that growth has gathered pace in the last ten years.”