Department for Work and Pensions announces £73m credit union fund

Government wants the cash to be spent on building better links between credit unions and the Post Office network

Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Work and Pensions

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced a £73m fund to modernise and expand the credit union sector.

The DWP said yesterday that it would carry out a six-month fact-finding mission to decide how to spend the cash, which will be available over the next four years.

In a statement, the department pledged to build closer links between credit unions and the Post Office.

Abcul, the umbrella body for credit unions, had previously asked the government for £15m to build an IT platform that would allow post offices to access credit union customer details.

The previous government provided a five-year Growth Fund, worth £100m, for credit unions to lend, which closes on 31 March.

"Ministers expect the post office network to play a central role in enabling credit unions to reach more families," the DWP statement said. "We would like to see people accessing credit union accounts across post office counters, as well as credit union branches."

Mark Lyonette, chief executive of Abcul, said in a statement that his 325 members were keen to connect more closely with post offices.

"Credit unions have achieved great things in recent years through the Growth Fund, so we are especially pleased to learn today that new funding is being made available," he said.

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