Plans for establishing a credit union on the Isle of Man will be unveiled next week at a meeting of the Positive Action Group at 7.30pm on Monday at the Manx Legion Club, Market Hill in Douglas.
The Manx Credit Union Working Party, accompanied by guest Dawn Vear, Operations Manager of UK Credit Unions Ltd, will give a presentation on the benefits of a credit union and how it differs from high street banking by offering a more ethical way of saving and low-cost alternative to other forms of borrowing.
At the same time the group will launch a public ‘expression of interest’ campaign to test demand for such a service among the Manx population.
Credit unions are non-profit member-owned community organisations typically offering savings accounts and small loans from pooled deposits. Interest rates are usually more favourable than other providers as there are no external shareholders to pay and any surplus is invested back into the credit union’s services.
Chairman of the Manx Credit Union Working Party, David Talbot, said, ‘Credit unions have been fantastically successful in other parts of the world where they offer ethical and affordable financial services and information to local communities. We have long felt there is a place for a locally based credit union on the Isle of Man which really addresses the needs of the Manx community but current legislation makes it difficult to set one up.
‘We hope that by explaining the benefits of a credit union we will gain public support for this idea and encourage Manx politicians to bring financial legislation up to date so it allows the inclusion of the credit union model.
‘We are very fortunate to have Dawn Vear in attendance – Dawn has a great deal of experience in the establishment and management of local credit unions throughout the UK, including Northern Ireland, and will be on hand to dispel any myths and answer questions people may have.’
The group has set up a website www.mcu.im which has links to the expression of interest form and more information on credit unions.
Admission to the meeting free.