Assembly Member Ken Skates is backing a campaign to stop the people of North Wales finding themselves on ‘debt row’.
The Labour AM for Clwyd South recently visited the North Wales Credit Union’s office in Wrexham to front an awareness initiative about the benefits of the savings organisation.
As the build-up to International Credit Union Day on October 15th gathers pace, Mr Skates said: “Despite an increase in Credit Unions memberships, Wales is still lagging behind other areas of the UK and thousands of vulnerable people in our communities are suffering with debt problems.”
Bank of England statistics from 2013 showed that just 2.1% of the Welsh population are members of a credit union, compared to 6.8% in Scotland and 36.9% in Northern Ireland. Only England had a lower proportion at 1.5%.
Mr Skates said: “At this time of year retailers are gearing up for the festive season and people succumb to high-interest loans and credit cards to fund Christmas. Often these are the people who can least afford what can be extortionate payback rates.”
A spokesman for NWCU said: “We don’t have a huge advertising budget to match that of the payday loans companies and credit card companies, but we are people helping people.”
People are being urged to support International Credit Union Day on social media by using the hashtags #ICUday, #peoplehelpingpeople and #nodebtrow.
To watch a two-minute video explaining more about Credit Unions in Wales, you can visit creditunionsofwales.co.uk.