Adult membership of credit unions across the UK has reached a milestone of 1.6 million.
Figures released by the Bank of England show that in June 2015, adult membership of credit unions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland reached 1,635,952 – an increase of 2.45% from the previous quarter and 5.47% over the previous 12 months.
The biggest jump was in England, with a 9.2% over the previous 12 months. Scotland and Northern Ireland both increased by 2.7%, and Wales by 2%. The figures show that during this time, an average of 232 adults joined a credit union in the UK every day. In the three months from April to June, this figure rose to an average of 430 people per day.
“The continuing growth of Britain’s credit unions is hugely encouraging and is a tribute to the effort so many credit unions are making to ensure their services are more accessible to a broad range of consumers,” said Mark Lyonette, chief executive of the Association of British credit Unions (Abcul), which covers England, Scotland and Wales.
“It is particularly encouraging to see lending up by more than £20 million over the quarter as the movement starts to look at diversifying its lending to better meet consumer demand.”
As part of its 2020 Vision for Credit Unions, Abcul has set a target of credit unions serving 2 million adult British members by 2020. This is part of a global push to bring credit union services to more people, with the World Council of Credit Unions aiming to bring a further 50 million consumers into credit union membership over the next five years.