The Welsh Assembly Government will provide business support worth £3.4m to the 22 credit unions in Wales, it has announced.
The contract, which includes £1.8m of funding from the European Regeneration Fund, will be run by Social Investment Business, the organisation that administers the government-backed loan funds Communitybuilders and the Social Enterprise Investment Fund.
"Credit unions offer excellent financial services, but they face problems similar to those faced by many small businesses," said Jonathan Lewis, chief executive of SIB.
"They lack resources. Many need to strengthen governance and many struggle to deal with complicated reporting requirements because they are regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
"Many of these organisations are small - but to be sustainable, they need to grow."