News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Credit Unions Step Into Financial Breach

Community credit unions are stepping into the breach as banks continue to close branches in rural areas and turn low-income customers away, a spokesperson for the credit union movement says.

Speaking on the eve of International Credit Union Day (October 19), the chief executive of the New Zealand Association of Credit Unions, Doug McLaren, said credit unions offered increasing numbers of people their only option for financial services.

“The movement is a growing force in New Zealand, with close to 200,000 members which represents a 30 percent increase in ten years. One of the reasons we're growing is that traditional banks are quietly withdrawing from significant sectors of the market," he said.

"Many of our members, including a substantial number of beneficiaries, have been turned away by banks because they have the wrong socio-economic profile, or else live in the wrong place and their local bank branch has simply closed its doors."

Because they had a different philosophy, he said, credit unions on the other hand were happy to provide a service to these people.

"Credit unions work on a completely different set of principles to banks. In New Zealand, as throughout the world, the credit union movement is member owned, and working in a co-operative, not for profit, spirit.

"So, while banks see the poor as problem customers, we see them as people who need a hand to help them get on their feet.

"The motivation for credit unions in New Zealand is the same as elsewhere - by working together, the members are able to achieve a better life for themselves and for their communities."

Worldwide, credit unions operate in 85 countries with over 100 million members.


For more information contact:

Doug McLaren
Chief Executive
New Zealand Association of Credit Unions
tel 09 309 9551
fax 09 309 9571

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

At Bats: Locke - The World Theatrical Premiere

On the eve of the biggest challenge of his career, Ivan Locke receives a phone call that sets in motion a series of events that will unravel his family, job and soul... More>>

Other Elections: Kea Crowned Bird Of The Year

These large, green mountain parrots are known for their curiosity and intelligence. Once numbering in the hundreds of thousands, they are now classified as Nationally Endangered with just 3,000 - 7,000 birds remaining. More>>


Howard Davis Review: Conflict & Resistance - Ria Hall's Rules of Engagement

From the aftermath of war through colonisation to her own personal convictions, Hall's new CD addresses current issues and social problems on multiple levels, confirming her position as a polemical and preeminent voice on the indigenous NZ music scene. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Another Time, Another Place - David Friesen Trio Live

"It has been said of David Friesen that he does for the art of bass playing what Pythagoras did for the triangle" - Patrick Hinley, Jazz Times. At Wellington's newest jazz venue, the cozy and intimate Pyramid Cub, the trio clicked together from the opening bars, presenting many of the tunes from their marvelous new recording. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>