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


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland