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Wolverhampton’s credit unions merge In bid to drive out payday lenders and loan sharks.

The merger of two Wolverhampton credit unions has been hailed as a major victory in the battle to rid the city of loan sharks and high interest payday lenders.

On 1st June, the city’s Low Hill-based NEW Friends Credit Union will merge with the Wolverhampton City Credit Union to create a community bank of more than 6,000 members with savings of over £2 million.

Wolverhampton City Credit Union Matt Goulding said:

This is a really momentous development for credit unions in Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire. This merger will really give people a local alternative to the big banks who people feel have let them down over the past few years. More and more people are saving and borrowing with us which can only be a good thing. “We’re also in a better position than ever before to drive out the loan sharks and high interest payday lenders that blight our neighbourhoods.

Tony Blakeway, Chair of NEW Friends Credit Union – currently run by volunteers - also welcomed the merger:

Together, we’re a real force to be reckoned with. By combining our membership and our assets we can ensure more people have access to low-interest loans and flexible savings.

Wolverhampton City Credit Union recruited a record 1,460 new members last year, issuing 2,486 loans. The credit union also saved its members more than £500,000 in interest charged by payday lenders. Anyone who lives or works in the WV post code area which includes large parts of South Staffordshire are eligible to join the credit union.

People can follow Wolverhampton City Credit Union on Facebook, Twitter and through its website at www.wccul.co.uk.

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