Tackling the cost of living crisis
Improving financial inclusion
Bradford Council, Brighton and Hove City Council
Since Bradford Council set up the Bradford Credit Union, it has used innovative methods to reach financially excluded people and give them a chance to save or borrow ethically and sustainably. The Credit Union hosts interactive ‘jargon-buster’ workshops which have been delivered to 150 people to date, demystifying financial issues in these times of austerity and the introduction of Universal Credit. It also runs the ‘LifeSavers’ scheme with partners – a Savings Club which teaches good financial habits and skills in primary schools, with 76 children registered who have saved over £6,000. Membership of the Bradford District Credit Union has grown from around 3,500 in 2012 to 6,600 today, with savings increasing from approximately £2.5m to £4.8m.
Brighton and Hove City Council supports a partnership of organisations that work on financial inclusion, and in 2016 supported the local credit union with a subordinated loan of £250,000. Most recently due to the many difficulties for low income people of the roll-out of Universal Credit, the council has supported the Credit Union around this specific issue, committing £100,000 to this in 2018/19. Under a project called “Get Bank Ready”, a specialist Customer Service Advisor now helps those without bank accounts to get set up with credit union accounts so that they can get their benefits. The advisor also supports anyone having difficulty making their online claim for Universal Credit.