Leeds Credit Union partners with east London council on cost-of-living support

Barking and Dagenham Council has brought the credit union in to offer savings accounts and affordable loans

Leeds Credit Union is working with east London’s Barking and Dagenham Council to offer savings accounts and affordable loans.

It is hoped that the joint project, Barking and Dagenham Money (BD Money), will help residents become more financially secure, keep more money in their pockets and access appropriate services to meet their financial needs and ambitions. 

The council commissioned a report in 2020 which found that every year, at least 6,000 households in the borough were taking out more than 20,000 subprime loans, worth over £9.4m – and paying back £7.3m in interest and fees.   

“Times are really tough right now and we’re doing all we can to support residents,” said deputy leader Saima Ashraf, who serves as cabinet member for community engagement. “The launch of BD Money couldn’t have come at a better time and brings a more affordable options for our residents when it comes to borrowing.  

Related: Credit unions provide a lifeline through the cost of living crisis

“Now more than ever as many people up and down the country face the cost-of-living crisis and we want to ensure every option is available in terms of the support residents can access – including exploring safe borrowing options instead of high-cost lenders.

“We look forward to working with Leeds Credit Union to provide a trusted service to our residents when it comes to savings accounts, loans and much more.”  

Operating for over 35 years, Leeds Credit Union is one of the country’s largest credit unions. It carried out a survey earlier this year that revealed 49% of respondents saw their financial situation worsening. However, 96% of its members said they would ‘definitely recommend’ the credit union to help alleviate these stresses. 

CEO Paul Kaye said: “Leeds Credit Union is excited to be working with Barking and Dagenham Council on this initiative to offer our great range of savings and loans to support the residents of the borough. We already offer our services to over 35,000 members, helping them access savings accounts to assist with budgeting plus a variety of loans.

“This could be anything from a small, short-term need of £500 to larger long-term requirements of up to £25,000 for anything from a car repair through to debt consolidation and family loans. As a mutual organisation we offer fair and ethical products for the benefit of all our members.” 

In terms of its common bond, the credit union got agreement for a rule change from its members at its AGM, adding Barking and Dagenham, and secured regulatory approval.

Through the partnership, BD Money will offer a variety of savings accounts, including regular saver, Christmas club, young saver and membership accounts, as well as access to various responsible and affordable loan facilities. LCU prides itself on providing members with the most appropriate services based on their own individual circumstances. 
For more information on BD Money affordable loan and savings products, plus a range of money support tools and guidance visit www.bdmoney.org.uk