Credit unions push for a link with the Post Office

Scheme would allow credit union customers to pay into their accounts and withdraw money from any post office

Post Office
Post Office

Abcul, the umbrella body for credit unions, will meet MPs and peers later this week in an attempt to gain support for a multi-million pound development project that would allow credit union accounts to be accessed through any post office in the country.

Mark Lyonette, chief executive of Abcul, told Third Sector that his organisation hoped to set up a scheme that would allow credit union customers to pay into their accounts, apply for loans and withdraw money from any post office.

"The Post Office still has the biggest face-to-face network in the UK," he said. "It has three times as many branches as any bank. And it wants to expand the financial services it offers.

"We felt it had the network and we had the products, and that we should work together."

Before the project could go ahead, he said, an IT platform would need to be created that would allow post offices to access the details of all credit union customers.

On Thursday, Abcul will host an open session for all parliamentarians who are interested in learning more about the plan, in an effort to increase knowledge and support in both the Commons and the Lords.

Lyonette said he hoped to have the scheme set up within two years, including 18 months spent developing the necessary infrastructure.

He said the credit union network was growing fast, with customers increasing at a rate of about 15 per cent a year and deposits at around 22 per cent a year.

But a partnership with Post Office Ltd, said Lyonette, would help to take the organisation "to the next level".

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