Barclays Bank in Wisbech has agreed to host a regular collection point for the Wisbech Rainbow Savers credit union on one day each month.
The offer has been welcomed as giving a major boost to the credit union in its efforts to help people manage their money and prevent them falling victim to loan sharks or other lenders that charge very high interest rates.
Wisbech Rainbow Savers will be given space at the Barclays town-centre branch for one day each month (10am-4pm), and it started on Thursday (March 20). Its desk will be manned by a team of local volunteers.
The credit union’s Wisbech branch was established last year. Its steering committee, set up by Fenland District Council, includes four FDC councillors - Cllrs David Hodgson, Simon King and Michael and Virginia Bucknor.
In a joint statement they said: “We really appreciate the generosity of Barclays in their forward-thinking approach by providing an area in their bank for Rainbow Savers one day every month. This space offers our members another facility in the heart of the town, in addition to the Rosmini and Oasis Community Centre.
Jan Wheeler, from Barclays Wisbech, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer this facility within our branch to support the valuable work of Wisbech Rainbow Savers. We recognise that credit unions play an important part in local communities, particularly in providing a springboard for people to move into mainstream banking.”
“Run by trained Wisbech volunteers, the credit union helps members save regularly, offers small loans at a low rate of interest, provide advice and support to help members to look after their money. All this is only possible through the dedicated commitment of our volunteers.”
Sally Chicken, chairman of Rainbow Savers, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Barclays on this initiative. One of the benefits of joining the credit union is the prepaid debit card which is pay as you go, so people who cannot get a credit or debit card can manage their money with the credit union. Wages, benefits and tax credits can all be processed quickly and safely by the credit union, giving fast access.”
Credit unions provide a safe alternative to banks, building societies, doorstep lenders and payday loan companies. They offer safe savings accounts, small loans at reasonable interest rates and free life assurance. All money paid into members’ accounts is protected by the Government’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
People can open an account even if they have been refused one from a bank. They can also open savings accounts for their children.
· Wisbech Rainbow Savers’ new collection point at Barclays is in addition to its two existing ones at the Oasis Centre (open each Thursday, 12 noon-2pm) and the Rosmini Centre (open each Tuesday, 2-4pm). There is also a Rainbow Savers branch in March, which is open at the Fenland @ your service shop in Broad Street each Wednesday (10am-2pm).
· For more details, call Ross McGivern, senior community support officer at FDC, on 01354-654321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org